Aboriginal Law Report
By Bruce McIvor
Here's our update for the week ending September 25, 2016.
With the proponent and the federal government deciding not to seek to appeal the Federal Court of Appeal's Enbridge pipeline decision, the question now is whether the feds will try to revive consultations with Indigenous Peoples.
- Neither Northern Gateway nor Ottawa will appeal federal court decision
- Ottawa won't appeal court decision blocking Northern Gateway pipeline
- Northern Gateway, feds won't appeal ruling against Northern Gateway pipeline
- Northern Gateway: Trudeau government expected to launch new talks with B.C. First Nations
- Trudeau sticks to pipeline points, skirts around talk of a Northern Gateway revival
- Liberals weigh restarting public consultations on Northern Gateway pipeline proposal
- Federal government’s ‘social licence’ for pipelines ‘permission’ cuts out communities
- Wet’suwet’en sceptical Northern Gateway will “re-engage”
- Alberta deputy premier ready to work with First Nations on pipeline concerns
- A look at the status of Northern Gateway and other major Canadian pipeline projects
Dozens of Indigenous Peoples signed a treaty opposing pipelines.
- First Nations across North America sign treaty alliance against the oilsands
- First Nations coalition ramps up opposition to pipelines
- Natural resources minister rejects idea First Nations united against pipelines
- EDITORIAL: Time for repairs on national approach to pipelines
A new National Energy Board Energy East panel is in the offing.
This piece from The Nation sets pipeline opposition in the United States in the context of broken treaties.
The fate of a Métis child in British Columbia raised the spectre of a modern '60s scoop.
- Planned move of B.C. Métis toddler to Ontario delayed--for now
- B.C. watchdog urges Attorney-General to intervene in Métis toddler case
- 'It's like a punch in the gut' say tearful Metis foster parents
- B.C.'s child watchdog asks Attorney General to intervene in Metis toddler case
- Supreme Court selection process unfair: Sinclair, Bellegarde
- Lawyers challenge Ottawa on Supreme Court appointment changes
- For my thoughts on this issue see: Why Quebec but not Indigenous appointments to the Supreme Court?
Pundits waded in on the 'two-founding peoples' myth of Canadian history (and law).
- Celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday in a post-TRC world
- Canada’s founding myths hold us back from addressing climate change
One British Columbia First Nation signed major agreements with the province and a mining company while another rejected a new mineral development in their territory.
- Lower Nicola Indian Band enters into two historic agreements
- Tsilhqot'in First Nation says no to mineral exploration by Amarc Resources on its Ike prospect
The federal government continued to face criticism over the Site C dam.
- Justice Minister Wilson-Raybould should resign over Site C, says Treaty 8 chief
- B.C. dam tests Trudeau’s promises to First Nations: Steward
- Justin Trudeau accused of 'bulldozing Aboriginal rights' with Site C
The re-education of the public on the spirit and intent of the treaties continues.
After much prodding, and delaying over a year, the Alberta government finally announced it will consult with First Nations about the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan.
A new report warned of continued mercury poisoning of Indigenous people in northern Ontario.
- Loss of feeling in fingers and toes: Classic signs of mercury poisoning found in 90% of Grassy Narrows people
- Government’s response criticized
- How the waters of Grassy Narrows were poisoned
In the Maritimes, Indigenous people continued to oppose aerial spraying.
The resumption of Parliament drew attention to the federal government's commitments to Indigenous people.
- Ottawa should match rhetoric with action on fixng relations with indigenous people
- Justin Trudeau’s lofty rhetoric on First Nations a cheap simulation of justice | Martin Lukacs
From the Courts
An Alberta First Nation revived its court challenge to the Grand Rapids pipeline.
- ACFN alleges Grand Rapids pipeline approval was 'botched'
- Alberta First Nation revives lawsuit over Grand Rapids pipeline
- Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation's Application
- Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation's Brief of Law (thanks to our friends at OKT for sending these along)
Oral summary arguments began in the marathon Nuu-chah-nulth fishing right infringement justification trial in Vancouver
- Litigation Update (thanks to our friends at the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council for sending this along)
In Nelson, British Columbia a trial began that raises issues of the federal government's power to declare an 'Aboriginal people' extinct and the rights of trans-border Indigenous People to exercise their constitutional rights in Canada.
Another lawsuit was filed in opposition to the Site C dam on the Peace River.
Quote of the Week
"This is a time of great spiritual awakening for our peoples as we reinvigorate our Nations and ensure a better tomorrow for all.”
Grand Chief Derek Nepinak
Off the Bookshelf
"Every person or nation has a right to derive a living from the earth and to participate in the processes of natural creativity; but no one, no matter how desperate his conditions or elevated his ambition, has any right to diminish the complexity, diversity, stability, fruitfulness, wholeness, beauty--in short, the order of the natural world."
Donald Worster, "Restoring a Natural Order," The Wealth of Nature: Environmental History and the Ecological Imagination (1993)
Bruce McIvor, lawyer and historian, is principal of First Peoples Law Corporation. Download Bruce's bio.
For more First Peoples Law comments see our publications page