Oct 11 - 17, 2023

By Bruce McIvor and Carlie Kane

This week’s edition includes climate change, Inuit identity, land protection, court cases and more. 



Housing and Inuit identity were front and centre on the east coast 


Innu Nation comes to Ottawa to fight against recognition of NunatuKavut Community Council in Labrador | APTN News  

Former Indigenous Relations Minister was warned against signing 2019 MOU with Labrador group | CBC News  

Federal government, Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq sign housing agreement | Atlantic CTV News 


Decision-making authority, climate change and Métis rights topped Ontario news


'We want to be able to decide' Inside the battle over the Ring of Fire | CP 24   

Climate change threatens winter roads connecting northern Ontario's remote communities | CBC News 

Treaties with Métis could be negotiated after self-government bill passes: minister  | Elliot Lake Today 


Saskatchewan headlines featured bison and a lawsuit 


Blackfoot Elders, conservationists join to bring bison back to Alberta's Eastern Slopes | Windspeaker 

Saskatchewan First Nations sue Canadian Government Over Opioid Crisis Negligence | West Island Blog 


Treaty rights at the Supreme Court of Canada and environmental rights were in the spotlight in Alberta news 


Supreme Court hears arguments on time limitations to bring claims of treaty obligation breaches | Windspeaker 

Indigenous environmentalists blast Alberta regulator and federal inaction over Kearl mine leakage | NNSL Media 


BC news included land protection, endangered species and renewable energy 


B.C. First Nation 'furious' after federal government rejects order to protect owls | City News 

'How is that reconciliation?': Hereditary Gitxsan Nation chiefs rally for their rights | National Observer 

Neighbours rally against proposed biofuel plan on Semiahmoo First Nation's land | Global News 



The Supreme Court of Canada weighed in on the constitutionality of the Impact Assessment Act.


Reference re Impact Assessment Act, 2023 SCC 23 (CanLII)


It was an honour to represent the Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta at the Supreme Court of Canada's hearing of Jim Shot Both Sides, et al. v. His Majesty the King. First Peoples Law's Kate Gunn provided oral submissions.

Check out our case backgrounder to learn more. You can watch the full hearing here.







So today, when everybody's all gung-ho about reconciliation, these things were taken away from us, the bison. And in reality, if there's something you can do that's even tangible, you need to return the bison to their natural habitat so that they can revive or somewhat restore our climate or add to that.

- Kainai Elder Charlie Fox, Elder of the Kainai Nations Sacred Horn Society and member of the Blood Tribe




I feel most myself when I'm out on the land.

- Fontine, 'Homemaker' from Yarrow Lover (2022)


First Peoples Law is pleased to announce the 2023 winner, finalist and honourable mentions of our Indigenous Law Student Scholarship. This year's $10,000 and $2,000 scholarships were awarded to Raven Richards and Sophia Sidarous, respectively. Congratulations to the honourable mentions Jaxxen Wiley, Mahève Rondeau and Tyler Ermineskin. Thank you to everyone who took the time to apply. We're looking forward to carrying it on next year.
First Peoples Law is seeking additions to our growing team dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
First Peoples Law's Kate Gunn is co-chairing the Pacific Business & Law Institute's virtual Indigenous Rights Beyond Borders program on October 19, 2023. Kate will be presenting on the implications of the Blueberry River decision while Bruce McIvor will be discussing key challenges and opportunities on multi-jurisdictional projects. Use the code KATE15 to receive 15% off your registration fee.
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.
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.
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.
Check out our podcast featuring conversations on the defence of Indigenous rights.
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.