Aboriginal Law Report
By Bruce McIvor
Here's our update for the week ending October 1st.
Indigenous people continue to face the threat of mercury poisoning.
The debate about the purpose and implications of the INAC split continued.
Gaming and taxation continues to be an important issue in the Maritimes.
On the west coast, opposition to fish farming continued.
From Alberta to the Maritimes the question is the same--whither Energy East?
The Kinder Morgan pipeline faced challenges on several fronts this week, including threats to its construction timeline, a loss at the Federal Court of Appeal (see below) and the looming court challenge to its federal government approval.
- Fish may stall Trans Mountain pipeline expansion
- Kinder Morgan asks for relief on pipeline condition to avoid project delay
- BC NDP to argue Trans Mountain pipeline expansion not in national interest
- Hearings begin for First Nations, environmental group opposed to Trans Mountain
There were contrasting reports from Alberta and Saskatchewan on the oil and gas industry.
- Fear and money breed silence in Saskatchewan
- Indigenous communities in Alberta's oilsands region strive to balance tradition and economic growth
The 'cows and ploughs' financial settlement is making its way across Treaty 8.
The effect of Marshall decision and the meaning of 'moderate livelihood' is still unresolved in the Maritimes.
- Man arrested, second sought after Aboriginal fishermen threatened
- As tensions brew, Mi'kmaq chief says there are bigger fish to fry than lobster
- Feds urged to recognize natives’ livelihood fishery
Here's a good piece on the range of views on commercial fishing in northern Ontario.
- Lake Nipissing dispute: 'I've always been one to air on the side of the fish and not the political winds'
In Montreal two well-respected scholars discussed UNDRIP and Aboriginal rights.
Policy Options continued its series on the Indian Act with pieces on treaties and governance..
- The one-sided “accountability” of the Indian Act
- The divide and conquer land rights policies that harm communities
'Collaborative consent' was trending on Twitter this week (at least in my circles).
Canadians often look south to Aotearoa for good ideas that might work at home.
The Métis have said no to night-hunting in southern Manitoba.
Finally, this was by far my favourite piece of the week (sorry CBC fans).
From the Courts
Almost 120 years after the fact, we finally got some clarity on the western boundary of Treaty 8.
- B.C. Supreme Court issues ruling after feds and province disagree over western boundary of Treaty 8
- Ian Mulgrew: First Nations win what they already had in long Treaty 8 fight
- West Moberly First Nations v. British Columbia, 2017 BCSC 1700
The Kinder Morgan pipeline suffered a major defeat at the Federal Court of Appeal.
- Court of appeal rules against Kinder Morgan, federal government on existing Trans Mountain pipeline
- Trans Mountain pipeline’s future fuzzy after federal appeal ruling
- Coldwater Indian Band wins Federal Court battle over Trans Mountain easement
- Court tells Ottawa to reconsider pipeline approval on B.C. reserve
- Coldwater Indian Band v. Canada (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development), 2017 FCA 199
The trial began on the issue of the $4 annual payments under the Robinson Huron treaties.
- 'Honour of the Crown is at stake': Court case begins over northern Ontario treaty payments
- Hearings into First Nations suit to be held here
Indigenous people bear an unfair burden in holding government to account through the courts--here's an interesting decision on allocating court costs.
Quote of the Week
“As long as we keep damaging our rivers, as long as we keep preventing things from growing, as long as we’re blocking out or changing the sun in a way that then impacts our climate, then we are not living by our treaties.”
Dr. John Borrows
Off the Bookshelf
"He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart."
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart (1958)
A big thank you to all my colleagues who identified me as one of the leading Aboriginal law practitioners in Canada in both the annual Chambers Canada and Lexpert surveys.
Bruce McIvor, lawyer and historian, is principal of First Peoples Law Corporation. Download Bruce's bio.
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