Contesting viewpoints in aboriginal rights claims are often mediated successfully. Furthermore, mediation can significantly reduce the expenditure of time, money, and human resources. In fact, resolution by negotiation is a time-honoured aboriginal tradition. Assisted negotiation can protect the rights of aboriginals to use and occupy land in a manner consistent with their tradition. It can also preserve cultural values and seek redress for past wrongs whether or not treaty rights apply.
The skilled mediator in this area is knowledgeable and cognizant of the issues surrounding aboriginal rights.
A conscientious mediator will hold preliminary meetings to identify potential participants and to frame the issues early on. During negotiations, all options are explored in a frank and amicable manner, and solutions that best meet the needs of the participants are sought.
The mediation can settle some issues, but not necessary all. Severance may be agreed upon to solidify existing agreements or the issues may be packaged together. If litigation is being considered, agreements are sought to minimize unnecessary and costly disputes over procedure and evidence, and to crystallize the issues for the court.
Aubrey Golden has a solid background as counsel for both Inuit and Indian organizations. Having advised on constitutional matters and having traveled extensively throughout aboriginal communities, Aubrey has acquired a cultural sensitivity and savvy that makes him an ideal candidate for mediating aboriginal rights disputes.
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