Negotiating the Dehcho: Protecting Dene Ahthít’e Through Modern Treaty-Making
Don Couturier is a 2018-2019 cohort Jane Glassco Northern Fellow.
He was born and raised in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, and recently completed law school and a Master of Public Administration at Queen’s University. In June of 2020, Don will clerk at the Court of Appeal of Alberta for his articling year, and following this, for Justice Kasirer at the Supreme Court of Canada (2021-2022).
Don is interested in the ways in which the revitalization of Indigenous legal orders can give content and meaning to Indigenous rights alongside Canada’s common and civil law traditions.
Don’s paper Negotiating the Dehcho: Protecting Dene Ahthít’e Through Modern Treaty-Making examines a politically and historically complex negotiation involving the Dehcho Dene, Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT), and Canada. He describes the positions of each party, identifies areas of mutual understanding, and analyzes potential compromises and opportunities going forward. The project involves thinking about how Canadian constitutional and criminal law can make space for Indigenous jurisdiction.
The Gordon Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to protecting Canada’s water and empowering Canada’s North. Since 2010, The Foundation’s Jane Glassco Northern Fellowship has been providing northerners aged 25 to 35 with a unique opportunity to influence change in the North by participating in an 18-month policy and leadership development program.