Supreme Court to examine First Nation's residency rule for council members

·1 min read

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada will review a rule that requires members of a tiny First Nation in the Arctic Circle to live in the community if they want to serve on its council.

Cindy Dickson has been fighting in the courts to have the residency requirement declared unconstitutional because it means anyone getting elected to the council of Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation in Old Crow, Yukon, must move back to the community within 14 days of winning a seat.

Dickson lives 800 kilometres away from the community in Whitehorse, as she has a job there and her son needs to be near a full-service hospital.

She contends the residency requirement violates the equality provisions of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Also at issue in the case is a section of the charter intended to ensure constitutionally protected rights do not override the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

No date has yet been set for the Supreme Court hearing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 28, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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