Plenary Sessions

KEYNOTE ADDRESS: “The 40-Year Road – how Modern Treaties provide the context and foundation for Canada’s political, legal, economic and social landscapes”.

Opening Prayer Presented by Elder Peter Decontie, Fire Keeper of the Anishnabe Algonquins
Keynote Address Presented by Thomas Berger, O.C., Q.C., O.B.C.

Now a practicing lawyer in Vancouver, Thomas Berger has been prominent in defending minority rights and establishing the rights of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples.  He served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia from 1971 – 1983.

During that time, he was Chairman of the Royal Commission on Family and Children’s Law, B.C, 1973-74, sole Commissioner of the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry 1974-77, and of the Inquiry on Indian and Health Consultation 1979-80 for the Government of Canada.  From 1983-85, he was Chairman of the Alaska Native Review Commission. In 1991 – 1992 he served as deputy chairman of the World Bank’s Sardar Sarovar Commission in India. Mr. Berger was retained by the Government of Canada as Conciliator in the negotiations to update the Implementation Contract for the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement.

He is the author of Northern Frontier, Northern Homeland (1977); Village Journey: a Long and Terrible Shadow (1985);  Fragile Freedoms: Human Rights and Dissent in Canada (1981), and One Man’s Justice:  A Life in the Law (2002).


A political panel of leaders will discuss trends shaping current government policy, the implications for modern treaty implementation, and how governments can be held accountable as we move forward.

  • President Terry Audla, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
  • National Chief Shawn Atleo,  Assembly of First Nations
  • Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come, Grand Council of the Crees

INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES:  “Aboriginal Inherent Rights, Self-Governance and Modern Treaties in the International Context”

A discussion of how treaties are structured in other jurisdictions, including their experience dealing with the state, and implementation lessons learned.

  • Emil Notti, first President of the Alaska Federation of Natives
  • Sven Roald Nysto, past President of the Norwegian Saami Parliament

LCAC PANEL: The Path Ahead to Full Modern Treaty Implementation

Panel presentations looking ahead to the next 40 years of modern treaty implementation, including report-backs from the working group sessions.