First Peoples Law is dedicated to defending and advancing Indigenous peoples' Aboriginal title, rights and Treaty rights.

Aboriginal Law Report

September 13, 2015

By Bruce McIvor

We've decided to start a regular summary of Aboriginal law news. Here's our update for the week ending September 13, 2015.

In the News

The most prominent news of the week was the two-day summit between B.C. Chiefs and Premier Clark to discuss implementation (or the Province's non-implementation) of the 2014 Supreme Court of Canada Tsilhqot'in decision.

The meeting started with Indigenous leaders declaring it was time for the B.C. government to either step-up and get serious or face the consequences. It ended with the Province supposedly expressing support for a First Nation drafted reconciliation agreement.

    The other big news was the B.C. Environmental Appeal Board's decision (see below) to overturn a fracking company's licence to use water in Treaty 8 territory.

    Differing approaches to development on Indigenous lands also continued to make the news.

    Quote of the week goes to Grand Chief Stewart Phillip: "reconciliation is not for wimps.”

    From the Courts

    As discussed above, the B.C. Environmental Appeal Board overturned a fracking company's licence to use water in Treaty 8.

    Fort Nelson First Nation v. British Columbia, B.C. Environmental Appeal Board, September 3, 2015.

    The Nuu-chah-nulth justification trial resumed at B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver after its summer break with the federal government estimating that it will require approximately another 50 trial days to put in its case. The federal government is attempting to justify its infringement of the First Nations' commercial fishing right (Ahousaht Indian Band and Nation v. Canada, BCCA 2011 237).

    Off the Bookshelf

    "Wherever we live, we are living on lands the sovereignty and jurisdiction of which are in the hands of Indigenous peoples."

    Michael Asch, On Being Here to Stay: Treaties and Aboriginal Rights in Canada (2014)

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