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

Aboriginal Law Report

November 8, 2015

By Bruce McIvor

Our update for the week ending November 8th.

In the News

The new Liberal federal government appointed two Indigenous people to Cabinet, including the first Indigenous Minister of Justice and Attorney General.

With the new Liberal government sworn in, the clock has started to tick on its promises to Indigenous Peoples.

While President Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, other proposed pipelines (and a railway) as well the effects of the tar sands continued to make the news.

Regional Chief Shane Gottfriedson applauded the Squamish Nation for conducting its own environmental assessment of the proposed Woodfibre LNG export facility while Jeffrey Simpson bemoaned the lack of 'certainty' due to the Tsilhqot'in decision.

The former Conservative government's First Nations Financial Transparency Act continues to draw criticism.

Professor Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz was in Vancouver to promote her new book An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States and discuss genocide.

The debate over the United States' acquisition of Hawaii echoes similar criticisms of Canada's occupation of Indigenous lands.

From the Courts

The Court of Appeal held that Yukon breached its constitutional obligations to First Nations in pushing through the Peel River watershed land use plan, but opened the door for the government to revive the plan through further consultation. 

The Specific Claims Tribunal ruled that Canada breached its fiduciary duty to two First Nations in northern British Columbia when it acquired replacement reserve lands for them without the subsurface rights.

The Federal Court dismissed an application to certify a class action law suit based on the federal government`s failure to index to inflation annuity payments under the numbered treaties.

Quote of the Week

“The question of genocide is never far from discussions of settler-colonialism. Land is life, or at least land is necessary for life.”

Professor Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Off the Bookshelf

"The frustrating problem for Aboriginal peoples is that their interpretations of history have not been recognized as legitimate."

Dale Turner, This Is Not a Peace Pipe: Towards a Critical Indigenous Philosophy (2006)

Post Script

We still have a few books left to giveaway--check out our offer.

Also, we are looking for photographs for our next edition--check out our photo competition.

Bruce McIvor, lawyer and historian, is principal of First Peoples Law Corporation.

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