RAVEN Intervenor Fund

Accessible & Strategic Impact

 Intervention is a strategic way to bring Indigenous perspectives to legal challenges without Nations having to shoulder the entire financial burden of bringing a case through the justice system. The lower costs of bringing actions – coupled with the influence that intervenors can have on case outcomes – makes this a strategic way forward for RAVEN’s partners who are asserting their rights through the courts.

 

Are you a representative of a Nation or Indigenous organization seeking support for an intervention? Click here to apply for RAVEN's Intervenor fund.

 

 

 

An intervenor is a third party permitted by a court to make arguments in a case. Intervenors are sometimes referred to as “friends of the court,” or as public interest advocates. While organizations such as the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and groups like Amnesty International can and do intervene in legal challenges, large corporations whose interests are affected by proceedings are also frequently granted intervenor status.

Leave to Intervene: a six-factor test

The test for leave to intervene in the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal involves: proving that the intervenor will be directly affected by the outcome of the case; that the issue at stake is in the public interest; and, that there is no other way for the intervenor to bring their evidence and perspective to the court.

The six-factor test also involves proving that the intervenor has unique insight not already being provided by another party, and that the case evaluation will be strengthened by the intervenor — essentially, a test of the necessity for this particular intervention.

The Federal Court of Appeal summarizes this test as follows: “the salient question is whether the intervenor will bring further, different and valuable insights and perspectives that will assist the Court in determining the matter.”

For example, in Squamish Nation v. British Columbia — the legal action backed by the RAVEN Pull Together community — a number of industry associations applied to intervene. They were denied leave, due to lack of direct legal interest in the challenge, which hinged upon the claim that the province failed in its duty to consult First Nations when approving projects that have a direct impact on Indigenous communities. The dismissal noted that, while they had a potential economic interest in the Trans Mountain pipeline and tankers project’s completion, their legal rights and obligations would not be affected by the outcome of the appeal. Further, the court found the proposed intervenors did not have a distinctive perspective justifying granting intervenor status, and the issues they sought to advance would expand the scope of the appeal in a way that would be unfair to the appellant.

RAVEN is honoured to be able to offer the Intervenor Fund so First Nations that meet the six-part test can be supported when they step up to protect the interests of their communities, lands and waters.

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INTERVENORS

Picking Sides for Reconciliation: Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Intervene in Jim Shot Both Sides v. Canada

Canada has shot itself in the foot many times when it comes to reconciliation. The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC), who intervened in Jim Shot Both Sides v. Canada with RAVEN’s support, believes this is…

A tributary of the Peace River flows through yellowing aspens in the fall near the location of the Site C Dam in British Columbia.

The Next Chapter in West Moberly’s Legal Odyssey: a Rights Protection Intervention

West Moberly Nations continues its legal odyssey. On Nov. 7 and 8, 2023, West Moberly intervened in the matter of Attorney General (Ontario) v. Restoule et al. at the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC). Read more to learn about how West Moberly continues to stand shoulder to shoulder with other Nations to advance Indigenous rights through the courts

West Moberly First Nation 

RAVEN is supporting West Moberly First Nation (Peace region, British Columbia), who are intervening in the Attorney General of Ontario, et al. v. Mike Restoule case pushing for augmentation of treaty annuities. 

Haida Intervention: Aboriginal Title to ‘submerged lands’

Haida intervened in the case of Saugeen Ojibway Nation as the issue of submerged lands is key to their upcoming Title challenge. The Title case, currently in case management until 2026, relies on ‘no bad precedents’ being set regarding submerged lands.

Heiltsuk Intervention: Saugeen Ojibway challenge

Thanks to this appeal, and to intervenors in the Saugeen Ojibway Nation challenge, Canada has reversed its position and now agrees that aboriginal title to lands beneath navigable waters is cognizable at law.

T’SKWAY’LAXW intervene on Gitxaala mining justice challenge

The Ts’kw’aylaxw First Nation (TFN) has deep experience in dealing with the adverse impacts of mining activities on its lands.  The promise by the Province that it will properly consult the TFN on governmental decisions has been breached numerous times.  The TFN is in litigation against the Province for failing to properly regulate mining activities on our lands.  

A coalition of intervenors supports mineral reform

This intervention is assisting the relevance of reconciliation through the DRIPA legislation here in BC, because of this it is also helping our Gitxaala and Heiltsuk campaigns. It may also have impacts on Attawapiskat, Neskantaga, and Grassy Narrows due to its relevance in the ON courts.

Nuxalk intervene to uphold Indigenous law, challenge Mineral Tenure Act

The Nuxalk Nation is a coastal First Nation and its Traditional Territory also includes the Great Bear Rain Forest.  It has a well documented system of  Nuxalk Indigenous Laws that  defines the jurisdiction to control the use and access to its Traditional Territory.  These factors will allow Nuxalk Nation to bring a unique perspective to this JR.

Nak’azdli Whut’en: intervening to reform BC mining

The Mineral Tenure Act and subsequent action under the Mines Act have severely impacted Nak’azdli’s ability to exercise its Aboriginal rights and title. Therefore, Nak’azdli Whut’en are intervening in Gitxaala’s challenge, as a precedent-setting decision in this case will directly benefit the Nation.