July 18-24, 2022

By Bruce McIvor and Cody O'Neil

This week’s edition includes the doctrine of discovery, sovereignty, language rights, modern treaties, systemic racism and more.



Indigenous jurisdiction was front and centre across the country 



Treaty rights and buffalo were hot topics in Saskatchewan 



Systemic racism returned to Ontario headlines 



East coast news included language and Treaty rights 



Tax policy and modern treaties were in the national spotlight 



I was interviewed by the Globe and Mail on the doctrine of discovery ahead of the pope's visit




I'll be releasing my latest instalment of "Indigenous Rights in One Minute" this week on the doctrine of discovery. Sign up here to get it straight to your inbox. In case you missed it, check out "What is the assertion of Crown sovereignty?"



Congratulations to First Peoples Law's Allan Donovan, Jennifer Griffith, Bruce McIvor and Merrill Shepard for being named in the annual Best Lawyers survey! 



As part of our commitment to supporting the development of Indigenous lawyers, First Peoples Law offers an annual scholarship to an Indigenous law student with a demonstrated commitment to serving and advancing the interests of Indigenous Peoples.

Applications for this year's $10,000 scholarship are open! Click here to apply. The deadline is July 31, 2022.

You can also meet past recipients and download a poster on our website.


“The story of the doctrine [of discovery] is the story of how you can obtain other people’s land by magic.”  

- The Honourable Harry S. LaForme 



“...what we owe, we owe...” 

- Gloria Bird, “What We Owe” in The River of History (1997)



We’re taking next week off. You’ll get your next First Peoples Law Report on August 7th.

First Peoples Law is seeking additions to our growing team dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
Bruce McIvor's clear, plain answers to frequently asked questions about Indigenous rights.
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.
First Peoples Law is the author of Annotated Aboriginal Law, 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.
Check out our podcast featuring conversations on the defence of Indigenous rights.
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.
Your weekly news update on Indigenous rights from First Peoples Law.
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.