Comment: The Rise and the Fall of the Isolated Communities Advisory Board
Templeton, Virginia (pseud.)Publisher: Bob Hawksworth, Calgary, Canada
Year Published: 1978
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX869
Seven Northern Alberta communities formed an organization in the early 1970's to take action to protect their rights to their land, which had not been included in any treaties, and their traditional lifestyle.
Abstract: Seven Northern Alberta communities formed an organization in the early 1970's to take action to protect their rights to their land, which had not been included in any treaties, and their traditional lifestyle. Thus the Isolated Communities Advisory Board (I.C.A.B.) was formed. Its funding came from the government who saw its role as administering their services. It did this and well. However, they, and the 2,000 people they represented had the additional concern of solving the land tenure problem. At that time six of the communities were holding a 25 year lease from Alberta government which holds title to the land. On October 27, 1975, seven headmen presented a caveat on their traditional hunting grounds. A caveat serves as a warning, in this case, that an interest by way of aboriginal rights was being claimed. The Alberta government, rather than filing the caveat, referred it to the Supreme Court of Alberta to consider whether a caveat could be filed on land for which no title had been issued. The Supreme Court of Canada, ruling on the similar Dene caveat, noted that under the Alberta law, such a caveat could be registered. Bill 29 was immediately introduced in the legislature to amend the Alberta Land Titles Act retroactively thereby invalidating the I.C.A.B. claim. The I.C.A.B. was warned by the Native Secretariat not to participate in anti-Bill 29 activities at the expense of their funding. Participate they did and now find themselves to be without funding. June, 1978 saw the closing of offices and although funding from other sources is being attempted, the future looks grim in Northern Alberta.