From Wardship to Rights

SKU: 9780774864572

Jim Reynolds
Grade Levels:
Twelve, College, University
Book Type:
UBC Press
Copyright Date:

Sale price$27.95


From Wardship to Rights: The Guerin Case and Aboriginal Law is by Jim Reynolds, former general council for the Musqueam Indian Band in Vancouver. He has practiced, taught, and written about Aboriginal law for four decades, and has acted for clients in major litigation advancing Aboriginal rights, including the Guerin case, as well as in many economic development projects. He has numerous publications, the most recent being Aboriginal Peoples and the Law: A Critical Introduction. From Wardship to Rights, tells the story of a First Nation's quest for justice. In 1958, the federal government leased a third of the small Musqueam Reserve in Vancouver to an exclusive golf club at far below market value. When the band members discovered this in 1970, they initiated legal action. Their tenacity led to the 1984 decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Guerin v. The Queen. In Guerin, the Court held that the government has a fiduciary duty toward Indigenous peoples - an obligation to act in their best interests. This landmark decision is explored in this book, written by an Aboriginal rights lawyer who served as one of the legal counsel for the Musqueam and argued on their behalf all the way to the highest court. Jim Reynolds provides an in-depth analysis, considering the context, the case and decision, and the major impact that Guerin had on Canadian law, politics, and society. The Guerin case changed the relationship between governments and Indigenous peoples from one of wardship to one based on legal rights. It was a seismic decision with implications that resonate today, not only in Canada but also in other Commonwealth countries.

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