“Human remains and sacred items removed from burial grounds have little protection under Canadian laws. If the museums or collectors who hold them do not return them voluntarily, there are no laws compelling them to do so. As well, Aboriginal burial grounds throughout Canada are at risk from development through construction, road-building, dredging and flooding. While many of the provincial laws protecting cemeteries mention Aboriginal burial sites and require consultation with Aboriginal peoples on the disposition of remains, in practice these laws have done little to prevent the desecration of Aboriginal burial grounds.
Litigation to prevent development has generally been unsuccessful. For some Aboriginal peoples, their inability to protect burial sites has resulted in blockades and occupations, even violence. As the Royal Commission has pointed out, Aboriginal groups often have little influence in deciding priorities for development or preservation. As the commission concluded, ‘[a]ll too often, Aboriginal peoples’ desire or need for access to traditional sites for traditional activities has led to conflict with officials’.41 A new ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada calls on provincial governments as well as the federal government to consult with Aboriginal peoples and to accommodate their rights. The impact of this direction from the Supreme Court on Aboriginal burial grounds is still not known.” (from: “The Non-Protection Of Canadian Aboriginal Heritage (Burial Sites And Artifacts)” by Dr. Peggy J. Blair.
By-Laws affecting High Park:
- by-law against digging in the Park
- by-law 608-29 sec a-dagainst biking off designated trials in the Park
- criminal law against desecrating grave sites
- Environmental Protection Act
- Section 74 of the Cemeteries Act (Ontario)
- Ravine & Tree Protection
- Parks By-Law
- Tree Protection Policy
- Trees and Ravines
- Heritage Tree Protection
- Toronto Police Division 11 (non-emergency line: (416)808-2222)
- Etobicoke Parks and Recreation