Indigenous Father Appeals Ruling Giving Ontario Courts Jurisdiction Over Mother’s $117,000 Monthly Support Claim
Late last year, I reported on an unusual Ontario family law decision called Beaver v. Hill, in which the issue was whether an Indigenous former couple’s family dispute should be decided pursuant to the laws that govern their particular clan, rather than by the family laws of Ontario.
The man, Ken Hill, who is a wealthy Indigenous co-owner of the largest cigarette company on the Six Nations reserve, had resisted his former romantic partner Brittany Beaver’s claim for almost $86,000 a month in spousal support, and $33,000 a month in child support for the 8-year old child they had together. Hill earns about $2.1 million per year, tax-free.
Among Hill’s arguments to the Ontario court was that his Indigenous Haudenosaunee laws should be applied to decide the support claims by Beaver against him. That court dismissed his argument.
Now, Hill has filed an appeal which includes a Charter challenge to be heard by the Ontario Court of Appeal.
Hill intends to argue that the decision to allow the Ontario family courts to decide the dispute between him and Beaver would violate the constitutional rights of Indigenous peoples. In Hill’s view, the family-related disputes of the Haudenosaunee people should be resolved according to their own laws and governance.
Hill’s appeal is slated to be heard by the Ontario Court of Appeal in June of 2018.
For the full-text of the lower court decision currently under appeal, see: