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

Aboriginal Law Report

July 1, 2018

By Bruce McIvor

In this week's update: pot, zombies, failed treaty negotiations, the perils of making 'Indians' and much more.
In the News

A British Columbia First Nation rejected a modern-day treaty for the second time.

In case you missed it, here are my thoughts on what the Lheidli T'enneh vote might mean for the future of the current comprehensive claims process.

A major settlement was agreed to in Ontario.

Litigation is not a panacea, but this is a good example of it being used to leverage significant changes on the issue of the piecemeal infringement of treaty rights.

If the issue of provincial regulation of the on-reserve marijuana industry every gets to court, there will likely be arguments of Indigenous sovereignty vs 'safety'.

Sad see to lawyers getting in the way of this important settlement for indigenous people.

The membership debate going on at Kahnawake raises important issues for all Indigenous people.

It's quite ironic that it was relatively easy for settlers to acquire title to Indigenous land, but it's very difficult for them to give it back.

If you're on Twitter, checkout Ryan McMahon's feed--he has some very funny tweets about this story.

Here are two good examples of moving beyond the duty to consult and towards creating space for Indigenous decision-making.

A lot of Aboriginal law in Canada has its roots in direct action--here's an example of what it means on the ground.

Despite failing two federal environmental reviews, this zombie mining company fights on--when is the British Columbia government going to put an end to it? 

This looks like an example of a government trying to use the courts to further limit treaty rights.

This is a very important treaty interpretation case to follow regarding Treaty 7.

Here's a review of Sarah Cox's Breaching the Peace on the Site C dam.

Finally, this is my favourite story of the week.

From the Courts

Another example of the limits of the duty to consult.

The Qalipu Mi'kmaq membership debacle in Newfoundland is a prime example of why the federal government has to get out of the business of making 'Indians'.

Off the Bookshelf

If you're looking for a thorough, readable and reliable summary of Aboriginal law, pickup a copy of Jim Reynolds' new Aboriginal Peoples and the Law: A Critical Introduction. Congrats to Jim on a great publication of huge benefit to us all.

 Workshop Update

There are new dates and new venues for my cross-country series of free workshops for Indigenous people (see below). Here's the agenda--I modify it slightly based on the location.



Review Agenda

Identify Additional Topics

Topics to discuss:

  • Indigenous jurisdiction
  • Aboriginal right infringement
  • cross-border rights
  • overlaps
  • treaty infringement
  • Metis rights

Lunch Break (lunch provided)

  • delegation of duty to consult
  • administrative tribunals
  • obligation to provide capacity funding
  • environmental assessments
  • cumulative effects/existing infringements
  • duty to consult and legislation

Coffee Break

  • veto and consent
  • comprehensive claims
  • proposed Rights and Reconciliation Framework

Closing Comments

Workshop Schedule

  • June 6th, Whitehorse, Yukon (thanks to those who attended)
  • June 14th, Dartmouth, NS (thanks to those who attended)
  • July 5th, Peguis, MB
  • July 10th, Kamloops, BC
  • July 12th, Williams Lake, BC
  • July 19th, Winnipeg, MB 
  • August 2nd, Fort Rupert, BC
  • August 7th, Sisika, Alberta
  • August 15th, Moncton, NB
  • August 23rd, Regina, SK
  • November 1, Saskatoon, SK
  • November 21, Montreal, Quebec
  • Vancouver, TBD (we might have 2 workshops due to high demand)
  • Victoria, TBD (we might have 2 workshops due to high demand)
  • Thunder Bay, TBD, but likely in September
  • Toronto, TBD
  • Edmonton, TBD

To register for a workshop directly.

Download My Book

The new edition of my collection of essays on Canadian law and decolonization is available as a free download. Paperback copies are also available to order. Click here to check it out.

I also have paperback copies available for free to non-profit Indigenous organizations in Canada for the cost of shipping.  if you would like some copies.

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

Download Bruce's Book of Essays


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