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

Aboriginal Law Report

September 23, 2018

By Bruce McIvor

In this week's update: the Trans Mountain pipeline, racist school questions, Indian Act registration and much more.
In the News

The federal government announced a 22-week deadline for the National Energy Board to consider the effect of increased tanker traffic due to the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline--no word yet on what it plans to do re the duty to consult.

These are good backgrounders on why the federal government failed in its consultation over the Trans Mountain pipeline.

We've all seen a lot of outrageous news stories over the years, but this one ranks right up there.

The recognition of Indigenous rights in a re-negotiated NAFTA appears to be less and less likely.

A First Nation in Nova Scotia says it was missed when consultations occurred over a proposed LNG facility.

First Nations across the country are increasingly frustrated with provincial governments' lack of respect for their right to manage their own territories.

Here's an example of Indigenous people's hard work to education industry on consent-based relationships.

Specific claims with a value of more than $150 million are especially difficult to settle--here's one that is proceeding to a ratification vote.

Reserve land designations sometimes become the focal point for fundamental disagreements over competing visions for a community's future.

Here's more on a recent major settlement in Ontario.

Indigenous Peoples across Canada have borne the brunt of the negative effects of hydro-electric development.

Here's a behind the scenes look at the federal government's handling of Indian Act registration.

Occasionally, specific claim settlements create rifts within communities.

Governments and proponents always promote the economic benefits of proposed resource extraction projects--this story sheds light on the cruel reality of what they too often mean for Indigenous communities.

In this piece a non-Indigenous lobster exporter says that for him and his association, reconciliation means including the Mi'kmaq in a single fishery "on the same basis that everybody else does here," Are these people wilfully ignorant of history and the law?

Talking about ignorance, this piece from the west coast highlights the fundamental lie that somehow non-Indigenous people in B.C. acquired the legal right to Indigenous land.

Rotten Tomato Award

Here's the most uninformed, pernicious article of the week.

Quote of the Week

"We just want to use our time-honoured rights to enjoy the land we own.”

Leonard Lee, president of the Pender Harbour Chamber of Commerce

Workshop Update

We have close to 60 people registered for my workshop on September 25th in Thunder Bay. A big thank you to the Nokiiwin Tribal Council for hosting.

Speaking Engagements

Last week I had the honour to join a wonderful group of Indigenous lawyers, educators and leaders for the Competency for Lawyers CLE in Vancouver. I gave a talk on "Racism and Implicit Bias in the Legal Profession." One of the highlights of the conference for me was the panel of Indigenous colleagues speaking about what competency for lawyers means to them.

October 5th: I'll be at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa as part of a panel at the National Forum on Indigenous Peoples and Mining.

October 10th: On behalf of the Indigenous Bar Association, I'll be presenting a legal review of the federal government's proposed new access to information legislation (Bill C-58) at the National Claims Research Workshop in Halifax.

November 22rd: I'll be in Montreal at the ADR Institute of Canada's annual conference on a panel with a great group of Indigenous lawyers and leaders to speak on the issue of Indigenous jurisdiction and the Canadian constitution.

December 13th: Don Colborne and I will be presenting a session on the negotiation and mediation of specific claims at the PBLI's Specific Claims Conference in Vancouver.

Client Successes

For 100 years Shoal Lake #40 First Nation has been isolated on a man-made island due to the City of Winnipeg's use of Shoal Lake as its water source. On Friday, after years of community perseverance and hard work, the community's Freedom Road reached the Trans Canada highway. Thanks to Merlin Sandy Jr. and Cuyler Cotton for the photos.



Thank You

A big thank you to my colleagues who have done me the honour of once again recognizing me in the international rankings of leading Aboriginal lawyers in Canada. Congrats to my friends who were also recognized.

Download My Book

The new edition of my collection of essays on Canadian law and decolonization is available as a free download. So far we've had close to 5000 downloads from around the world. 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 bio.

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