To state that the Americas at the point of first contact with Europeans were empty uninhabited lands is, of course, factually incorrect. To the extent that concepts such as terra nullius and discovery also carry with them the baggage of racism and ethnocentrism, they are morally wrong as well. To the extent that court decisions have relied on these fallacies, they are in error. These concepts have no legitimate place in characterizing the foundations of this country, or in contemporary policy making, legislation or jurisprudence.
First Peoples Law is the author of Indigenous Peoples and the Law in Canada: Cases and Commentary. Previously authored by legendary law professor Shin Imai for over two decades, the book includes hundreds of annotations of significant court decisions and federal legislation regarding Indigenous rights in Canada. We hope it continues to be a useful resource for Indigenous Peoples defending and advancing their rights across the country.
Faced with a constant stream of news reports of standoffs and confrontations, Canada’s “reconciliation project” has obviously gone off the rails. In this series of concise and thoughtful essays, lawyer and historian Bruce McIvor explains why reconciliation with Indigenous peoples is failing and what needs to be done to fix it.
We are providing a list of resources for anyone looking to get informed about the truth of Residential Schools shared by Survivors across the country. It is not meant to be an exhaustive list. We would welcome any feedback or recommendations.
First Peoples Law LLP is a law firm dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. We work closely with First Nations to defend their Aboriginal title, rights and Treaty rights, uphold their Indigenous laws and governance and ensure economic prosperity for their members.
Bruce McIvor, lawyer and historian, is partner at First Peoples Law LLP. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia’s Allard School of Law where he teaches the constitutional law of Aboriginal and Treaty rights. A member of the bar in British Columbia and Ontario, Bruce is recognized nationally and internationally as a leading practitioner of Aboriginal law in Canada. Bruce's ancestors took Métis scrip at Red River in Manitoba. He holds a law degree, a Ph.D. in Aboriginal and environmental history, is a Fulbright Scholar and author of Standoff: Why Reconciliation Fails Indigenous People and How to Fix It. He is a member of the Manitoba Métis Federation.