‘Another step:’ Federal Court judge releases ruling in Cree and Dene

Justice Sebastien Grammond wrote about the importance of including the two languages in a ruling

The Federal Court of Canada says it has issued a ruling in Cree and Dene — the first time it’s done so in an Indigenous language.

Justice Sebastien Grammond wrote about the importance of including the two languages in a ruling last Friday that overturned the suspension of a First Nations band councillor in Fort McMurray, Alta.

A summary of the ruling was written and recorded in Cree and Dene, which are the languages of the parties that were involved.

“The Federal Court is committed to being more accessible to Indigenous people when they wish to bring legal disputes for resolution by the court,” wrote Grammond.

“Many court hearings are held directly in the Indigenous community or via webcast, and where appropriate court procedure is adapted to make space for Indigenous protocols.

“With the release of today’s decision, the court is also taking another step in making court decisions more accessible.”

Grammond thanked the “language keepers” who assisted with preparing the summary in Cree and Dene.

The case involved Samantha Whalen from the Fort McMurray 468 First Nation who was suspended by her council colleagues. They had concluded she had engaged in wrongful conduct, including the disclosure of financial information and her participation in a blockade of a First Nation’s business.

Whalen argued that the council didn’t have the power to suspend her and the Federal Court agreed.

ALSO READ: Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

A court spokesman said efforts have been underway for the last 15 years to bring in practical initiatives such as guidelines for litigation involving Indigenous people and for conducting court hearings in their communities.

Andrew Baumberg, legal counsel for the Federal Court, said court members decided at a recent meeting to provide summaries of judgments in the language of the Indigenous communities involved in appropriate cases.

“In recognition of the important role that language plays in First Nation communities,” Baumberg wrote in an email, “the Federal Court intends to continue to increase access to justice for Indigenous people.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Making memories: Quesnel Lake a second home for Gerich family

The family moved around B.C. for work but always returned to Quesnel Lake

Quesnel and District Daycare needs to find new home by winter

The daycare is a non-profit society and has asked city for help

This and that for seniors: play phone magic now for real

My smartphone … yes, I do have one, is way smarter than me

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Large rogue floating ‘island’ corralled by Lac la Hache residents

At least 60 feet wide, this large mass of plants is free-floating on the lake

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

Most Read