November 1 - 7, 2023

By Bruce McIvor and Carlie Kane

This week’s edition includes systemic racism, treaty rights, policing, consultation and more. 



Beaded Poppy, image by Carlie Kane 

Indigenous Veterans Day is on November 8th. This day honours First Nation, Métis and Inuit soldiers and veterans, and their long, distinguished legacy of serving in the Canadian Armed Forces. To learn more about the experiences of Indigenous veterans of the World War I & II and the Korean War, check out Nate Gaffney and Desmond Simon's documentary, Indian Braves, on CBC Gem here.



National news included discrimination and Métis self-governance


Métis presidents urge standing committee to pass Bill C-53 without amendments | MBC Radio 

First Nations appearing at standing committee come out hard against Métis self-governance legislation | 

Proposed legislation to amend the Indian Act continues discrimination it’s designed to end, say MPs I  


Policing was in the spotlight in Quebec


'Chronic underfunding': 22 Quebec Indigenous police forces file rights complaint | CityNews Toronto 


Ontario news included Métis rights, the Robinson Huron Treaty settlement agreement and healthcare 


Saugeen Ojibway Nation raises concerns about Metis rights in territory | Owen Sound Sun Times 

BREAKING: $10B RHT annuities settlement approved | Sault Ste. Marie News

Colonialism remains a health risk, MPP says | The Daily Press 


Treaty rights were front and centre in Manitoba


Pine Creek First Nation reaches $200 million treaty settlement | Winnipeg Sun


Alberta headlines included harvesting rights and systemic racism


Indigenous group calls for access to Jasper National Park, saying they were evicted | CBC News 

'Times have changed': Indigenous harvest brings two nations together | Fitz Hugh

Indigenous staff press ahead with discrimination lawsuit against on-reserve oil and gas agency | CBC News 


Consultation, conservation, the corrections system and UNDRIP topped BC news


Forest range licence renewed without consultation, First Nation says | New West Record

B.C. just signed a ‘historic’ $1B nature agreement | The Narwhal 

B.C. First Nations call for desperate, urgent changes to Canada’s corrections system | The Free Press 

First Nations leaders voice frustration over slow pace of change since B.C. passed UNDRIP-based rights act | CBC News 



The Federal Court issued an elections decision. 


Tallman v. Whitefish Lake First Nation #459, 2023 FC 1411 (CanLII) 

The Quebec Superior Court weighed in on treaty rights and the Covenant Chain, and outlined a new test for Aboriginal rights. 


R. c. Montour, 2023 QCCS 4154 (CanLII)

Quebec judge rules Kanien'kehá:ka have treaty rights to trade tobacco | CBC News 



Tune in live to watch the Restoule appeal at the Supreme Court of Canada starting today. The hearing will take place November 7-8 starting at 9:30am ET. You can watch the hearing live on the Court’s website here

Check out Kate Gunn and Cody O’Neil's backgrounder on this important litigation and its implications for First Nations defending and advancing their Treaty rights across the country. 


Treaty Rights at the Supreme Court of Canada: Restoule Appeal | Kate Gunn and Cody O’Neil | First Peoples Law LLP 



We have long known that the justice system, and the corrections system, are in desperate and urgent need of fundamental transformation. Too many reports, year after year, have shed light on this fact without accountability for decisive action and tangible change.

Terry Teegee, Regional Chief of the BC Assembly of First Nations 



Indigenous Women have a powerful role to play in the movement for justice and reconciliation. It is their voices that must be heard, their experiences that must be acknowledged, their leadership that must be respected and honoured.

- Tanya Talaga, All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward (2018) 



We are taking next week off in light of the upcoming statutory holiday. You'll receive the next First Peoples Law Report on November 21st.

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 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.