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Rights & Title Strength of Claim Reports

Rights & Title: Strength of Claim Report Preparation

There are two types of rights & title reports used in both the negotiation and litigation of territorial matters. One type of report prepared by LVB Strategic Negotiations & Research Group Inc is the well known "TUS" - or Traditional Use Study - which is primarily based upon interviews and where possible archaeological evidence. It also involves the transcription of the interviews, the preparation of a traditional use database, and the acquisition of associated archival or government records. Finally a detailed report is prepared.

The other type of report, an Ethnohistorical report, is longer and far more comprehensive in nature. It documents the territory used and occupied at the time of contact (or time immemorial) by the First Nation. (It is a Treaty and/or Aboriginal Rights & Title Report). This report contains ethnographic information (linguistic group, cultural characteristics, kinship structure, and traditional pursuits such as hunting trapping and fishing, and "material culture" i.e. clothing, housing, hunting/fishing/trapping technology , etc.). This type of report is compiled from explorers accounts, church and government records, RCMP records, journals, field note books and so on. There are numerous archives and associated government offices scattered throughout the provinces, territories and the country, which are accessed for the purposes of the report. 

At times a "genealogy of Bands", that is, a tracking of the change in band affiliation, name and structure, is required in treaty and aboriginal rights reports. Changes were usually based upon the Department of Indian Affairs administrative requirements, and at times extended family genealogies are required to document that the people making the claim are descendant from the original peoples occupying the territory under claim.

Finally, the report is pulled together. It is usually comprised of Chapters, replete with footnotes and an annotated bibliography. Binders of tabbed documents are attached to the report. The report is then submitted to the Chief and Council and/or legal counsel, and perhaps to an environmental review board. At times at least a portion of the cost associated with the report is born by the particular corporation (mining, oil and gas pipelines, etc.) applying for licenses or permits to use the resources within the territory. The report will also up the ante in negotiating an Accommodation and/or Impact Benefit Agreement or to support litigation where necessary.

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