Court of Appeals rules in favour of hearing constitutional question on indigenous rights

TORONTO — Six Nations businessman Ken Hill has won his case at the court of appeals to raise a constitutional question defending his indigenous right to have a family law matter dealt with by indigenous traditional practices in favour of being forced through provincial court.

The ruling was issued by the province’s highest court Saturday — granting Hill the right to have the constitutional question put back on the table in front of a new justice.

The Appeals court also requested that an expert on First Nations issues be assigned to the case. That person has not been appointed yet.

Hill applied earlier this year for Justice Sloan, one of the judges at the Kitchener Superior Court, to recuse himself in the case. Hill says in his claim that Sloan did not treat Hill’s case without prejudice.

Hill has been fighting the mother of his son in her claim for $85,000 a month in spousal support. Lawyers for Hill say there is evidence that proves the pair were not in a spousal relationship. Hill now pays the child’s mother, Brittany Beaver, $33,000 in child support monthly along with 100% of the child’s school and medical care.

Court documents show Hill also provided a million dollar home for Beaver while she is raising their son. She lives in the Waterloo home with her new partner and their child.

Lawyers for Beaver told a journalist with the Toronto Sun that Hill is pursuing “an alternate regime that would deny Haudenosaunee women and children access to the protections for the Ontario family justice system.”

However Hill says in his claim that he recognizes the authority of the Haudenosaunee traditional governance systems and is seeking to resolve the matter in favour of those traditions — rejecting being forced to subjugate to provincial courts.

“This should not be viewed as a win for me but a win for the independence of our territory. I have long advocated for the sovereignty of our territory…” said Hill in a statement to the Two Row Times. “Sovereignty means more than words – it is about us retaining territorial rights without Ontario telling us what to do.”

No date has been set for the constitutional question yet but it is expected to be heard in Kitchener at a later date.

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