Aboriginal Law Report
By Bruce McIvorHere's our update for the week ending September 20, 2015.
In the News
The B.C -- First Nations Proposed Commitment document for discussing next steps based on Tsilhqot'in was made public as was the background to B.C.'s reluctance to endorse First Nation principles for implementing Tsilhqot'in.
- British Columbia--First Nations Proposed Commitment Document
- Vaughn Palmer: No quick fix for gulf between province and First Nations
The Tsilhqot'in National Government called on a mining company to stop exploration work in an area near its Aboriginal title lands while a local non-Indigenous trapper complained that government had failed to address the status of his trap line within Tsilhqot'in Aboriginal title lands.
An enthnobotanist who testified as part of the Tsilhqot'in trial is doing further research on the connection between Indigenous plant use, Indigenous laws and Aboriginal title.
Opposition to Petronas' proposed LNG terminal near Prince Rupert, B.C. intensified and has apparently triggered another Aboriginal title claim (see below).
- Drilling at proposed LNG terminal starts despite First Nation opposition
- Northern First Nations band together to block Petronas' LNG plans -The Common Sense Canadian
With new B.C. legislation regarding water scheduled to take effect soon, the issue of Aboriginal water rights was in the news.
- New law gives B.C. more authority involving water use
- Water a central issue for First Nations
- Stephen Hume: First Nations treasure historic ties to water
The First Nations Fiscal Management Act was touted as the basis for community economic development.
The B.C. Environmental Appeal Board's decision to cancel a fracking company's water licences in Treaty 8 continued to make the news.
Members of the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation accepted a settlement agreement involving the former Camp Ipperwash lands in southern Ontario.
- 20 years after Ipperwash Crisis, First Nation votes on fed offer of $95M
- Stony Point community to celebrate with a Going Home Walk 20 years after Dudley George's death in a confrontation with the OPP
Quote of the week goes to trapper Fritz Dieck commenting on the uncertainty surrounding his government-issued trap line within Tsilhqot'in Aboriginal title lands: "They gave away something they don’t own."
From the Courts
Lax Kw'alaams First Nation announced it's going to file an Aboriginal title claim to protect the site of Petronas' proposed LNG terminal.
Prophet River and West Moberly First Nations were unsuccessful in their judicial review of the provincial environmental assessment certificate for the Site C dam on the Peace River in Treaty 8.
- First Nations lose bid to nullify government OK for Site C dam
- Judge closes one door, opens another on Site C legal challenge
- Prophet River First Nation v. British Columbia (Environment), 2015 BCSC 1682 (thanks to my friends at Rana Law for sending this along)
Asubpeeschoseewagong (Grassy Narrows First Nation) launched a lawsuit based on the Charter of Rights to protect its members and lands from environmental harms due to clear cutting.
The Stoney Nakoda Nation's lawsuit against Canada based on the surrender of lands for hydroelectric dams on the Bow River west of Calgary was thrown out as abuse of process.
Dixon v. Canada, 2015 ABQB 565
Off the Bookshelf
"The truth is that practically the only thing the white men ever gave the Indian was disease and poverty."
Vine Deloria, Jr. Custer Died For Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto (1969)