RAVEN - Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs


Learn more about the context of RAVEN’s groundbreaking work. 

RAVEN’s work is taking place in a time of great change and great opportunity. With ‘reconciliation’ being discussed in communities, in classrooms, in boardrooms and on the floor of Parliament, there is an upwelling of interest and passion for engagement with Indigenous rights in Canada. 

At the same time, we face continued challenges as a result of centuries of assimilationist policy and colonization. While participating in dialogue about reconciliation, Indigenous communities continue to live without equitable access to clean water, to health care, and to education.

Good intentions are not enough. RAVEN is committed to putting reconciliation into action by providing access to justice so that Indigenous Peoples’ rights are recognized and upheld. Our small but mighty organization has a laser focus: we raise legal defence funds for Indigenous Peoples to defend their treaty rights and the integrity of their traditional lands and cultures.

We stand shoulder to shoulder in support of the rights of Indigenous Peoples, so that we can achieve parity for the people on whose land we live.


The purpose of this guide is to provide information on the different Aboriginal rights as they are understood in Canadian common law, and the ways in which Indigenous people can assert these rights within the Canadian colonial court system.

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Learning Resources


“… many generations of children, including you and your parents, have been raised to think about things in a different way, in the wrong way, in a way that is negative when it comes to Aboriginal People. And we need to change that. It was the educational system that has contributed to this problem in this country. And it is the educational system, we believe, which is going to help us to get away from this…. We cannot look for quick and easy solutions because there are none. We need to be able to look at this from the perspective of where do we want to be in 3 or 4 or 5 or 7 generations from now, when we talk about the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal People in this country. And if we can agree on what that relationship needs to look like in the future then what we need to think about, is what can we do today that will contribute to that objective. Reconciliation will be about ensuring that everything we do today is aimed at that high standard of restoring that balance to that relationship.”

  — Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.


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