Aboriginal Law Report
By Bruce McIvorOur update for the week ending November 15, 2015.
In the News
The Liberal Government has committed to implementing UNDRIP.
- Feds pledge to implement UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples
- Minister Bennett's Mandate Letter
The new Liberal government's intention to ban oil tankers on British Columbia's north coast appears to sound the death knell for Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline.
- Trudeau to re-open Vancouver coast guard base, ban north coast oil tankers
- Trudeau orders oil tanker ban that could kill Northern Gateway
- Trudeau bans oil tankers on B.C.'s north coast, threatening pipeline plan
- Alberta’s Energy Minister distances government from Northern Gateway project
- Northern Gateway pipeline builder vows to soldier on despite B.C. tanker ban
- Minister of Transportation's Mandate Letter
Indigenous opposition to Pacific NorthWest's proposed LNG facility on Lelu Island is increasing.
- Two northern B.C. First Nations call on Trudeau to reject Pacific NorthWest LNG
- First Nations and 70 Others Say No to LNG Tankers in Sensitive B.C. Waters
- LNG’s proposed Lelu Island natural gas terminal stirs a First Nations debate
- B.C. First Nation leaders ask PM to reject LNG terminal site
- Activist group urges Trudeau to block LNG project to protect B.C. salmon
- Smyth: Road to Premier Clark’s LNG utopia getting awfully bumpy
With obstacles to pipelines mounting comes a proposal to ship crude oil by rail from northern Alberta to Alaska.
The new federal government is promising to review the federal government's environmental assessment processes and modernize the National Energy Board to include expertise in Indigenous knowledge.
- Environment Minister vows more stringent reviews for pipelines
- Minister of Natural Resources Mandate Letter
The new federal Minister of Justice's mandate letter includes:
- developing an inquiring into murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls;
- reviewing the federal government's litigation strategy to drop appeals inconsistent with the Charter and Canadian values;
- reforming the process for appointing Supreme Court of Canada justices;
- repealing key elements of Bill C-51; and
- reinstating the Court Challenges Program.
Non-Indigenous hunters protested against Mi'kmaw moose hunting.
- Mi'kmaw hunters to continue harvest in Cape Breton national park despite opposition
- Cape Breton moose cull to resume this fall, says Mi'kmaq chief
- Tempers flare after protesters confront Mi’kmaq hunters
Indigenous and non-Indigenous people protested Montreal's raw sewage dump into the St. Lawrence River while dumping sewer sludge in British Columbia unites First Nations and their neighbours.
- Environment Minister approves Montreal’s sewage dump plan
- Kahnawake natives protest Saint Lawrence sewage dump
- APTN Investigates: Kicking up a Stink
Yukon First Nations say they were not properly consulted about proposed changes to oil and gas legislation.
A local First Nation supports the expansion of a ski resort east of Vancouver.
From the Courts
The Specific Claims Tribunal's decision on Blueberry River's and Doig River's reserve land continued to make the news.
The Yukon Court of Appeal's Peel River watershed decision has left people asking what next.
- Treaty Rights Triumph: First Nation Peel Watershed Protectors Win Against Yukon Government
- Whitehorse Daily Star: Previous commission has advantages: ex-chair
Following its success in the Chartrand decision, Kwakiutl First Nation has signed a letter of intent with British Columbia committing the two parties to developing a treaty implementation process.
Quote of the Week
Off the Bookshelf
"Canadians need to get serious about being treaty peoples and realize that the responsibility for doing so lies with everyone, not just with governments and the courts."
Greg Poelzer and Ken Coates, From Treaty Peoples to Treaty Nation: A Road Map for All Canadians (2015)
Bruce McIvor, lawyer and historian, is principal of First Peoples Law Corporation.
For more First Peoples Law comments see our publications page