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

Aboriginal Law Report

January 17, 2016

By Bruce McIvor

Our update for the week ending January 17, 2016.

In the News

While Canadians continue to wait for the new Liberal government to announce its revisions to ongoing pipeline review processes, the British Columbia provincial government came out in opposition to Kinder Morgan's TransMountain pipeline.

Disagreement continued over the federal government's decision to stop enforcing the First Nations Financial Transparency Act while First Nation leaders in Ontario and the Maritimes expressed optimism for First Nation economic development.

On its 20th anniversary, the Gustafsen Lake standoff was in the news.

Despite hope to the contrary, the federal government appears determined to continue to fight Newfoundland residential school survivors in court.

Opposition to the Site C dam continued to build.

Saskatchewan's enforcement of provincial hunting law against Indigenous people continued to make the news.

United States environmental groups criticized logging practices in eastern Canada.

From the Courts

The British Columbia Supreme Court ruled the province unlawfully relied on the National Energy Board's review of Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline project.

The British Columbia provincial government filed its response in the Secwepemc Aboriginal title claim to the Ajax Mine site.

The application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of the Chippewas of Thames River First Nation decision was again in the news.

As the Descheneaux appeal continues to move forward at the Quebec Court of Appeal, here's a very useful explanation of how the Indian Act registration provisions continue to disenfranchise individuals (thanks to Dionne Schulze with the permission of the Grand conseil de la nation Conseil de la Nation Waban-Aki).

Quote of the Week

“If built, Site C will render First Nations’ rights guaranteed under Treaty 8 irrelevant to the point of mockery."

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip and Dr. David Suzuki

Off the Bookshelf

"Unless the philosophy of government toward Native people changes dramatically, for some the hydro era may indeed come to represent the twilight of Native rights in Canada."

James B. Waldram, As Long as the Rivers Run: Hydroelectric Development and Native Communities in Western Canada (1988)

My Two Bits

Remedies in duty to consult cases (audio file).

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

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