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First Nations gain ability to confront local governments over human rights

OTTAWA - Starting tomorrow, First Nations members will be able to take their own local governments to task for human rights violations.

A three-year transition period has come to an end and the Canadian Human Rights Act now will apply to First Nations governments, as well as Ottawa.

That means aboriginal people can challenge their own bands under the act if they think living conditions on reserves are discriminatory.

But David Langtry, acting chief of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, says he's not sure whether the change will bring about an onslaught of lawsuits.

That's because he says it's not clear that First Nations people have the financial and legal resources to mount challenges against their governments.

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