What is a Class Action?
The class action has been shown to be a very effective tool in law in order to advance the claim of a particular, identifiable group who have suffered loss or who have otherwise been affected by the actions of a third party.
The action first of all defines the class and the defendant who has caused the harm in question. In this particular circumstance, the “class” would be all Status Indians who are Mi’kmaw and who can trace their ancestry back to the time of the Treaties in question. The defendant would be the Federal Crown.
There are persons who are named as those seeking
the relief on behalf of the class and these persons are
known as the “Representative Plaintiffs” who start the
action. These persons are then named on all legal
documents associated with the civil suit.
The Representative Plaintiffs are members of the class.
As of now, there are four Representative Plaintiffs, being Hubert Francis
(Elsipogtog), Clifford Paul (Membertou), Cody Caplin (Eel River Bar),
and Jeffery James Bernard (Lennox Island).
The class action would seek declarations and other relief from the Courts in order to have the matters determined and the Courts can order this relief to be implemented by the Federal Crown.
Civil class actions have been used with varying degrees of success across the country by First Nations wishing to advance claims against all levels of government. In this particular case, this would seem to be the only method which could potentially move the Marshall right forward and further outline the rights on behalf of the Mi’kmaw people.
We have a law firm which has extensive experience in these matters and also in class action suits generally who is prepared to move this matter forward once the appropriate retainer arrangements are in place.