Symposium Submissions

Residency, Discrimination and Self-Government in First Nations Communities and Canadian Jurisprudence – By: Robert Houle



Residency, Discrimination and Self-Government in First Nations communities and Canadian Jurisprudence explores the long-standing practice of First Nation communities and leadership maintaining a small candidate pool for on-reserve elections. One mechanism they utilize to achieve this is the application of residency clauses which require candidates to reside on the reserve for a fixed period of time prior to the election. This undoubtedly hampers the full participation of all members of First Nation communities and is tantamount to a differential treatment. Discrimination like that based upon residency has been struck down numerous times by the Supreme Court of Canada, and as I argue, has a direct root and connection to the Indian Act.

Author Biography

Rob is from Swan River First Nation in Treaty No. 8 Alberta and is a 3rd year law student at Thompson Rivers University. He has previously held positions with various governments and organizations within Alberta. Much of his research explores the role of Treaty, Indigenous Rights and their collision with Canadian Law. He is married into Treaty No. 7 and is father to three wonderful children.


Winner of 3rd Place Prize in the 35th Annual Oklahoma Supreme Court and Sovereignty Symposium Writing Contest (2023)