Aboriginal Law Report
By Bruce McIvor
The federal government is touting a new agreement under the BC Treaty Process as a reboot for comprehensive claims.
There is a new Indigenous Senator.
The first Indigenous protected national wildlife area has been created.
- Ottawa, Dehcho First Nations sign deal for 1st Indigenous protected wildlife area
- Ottawa, First Nations agree to protect N.W.T. area twice the size of Banff
The 60s Scoop sharing circles have started in Saskatchewan.
Here's a good piece on some of the differences between Indigenous and Western legal orders.
Indigenous Peoples' insistence on controlling hunting in their territories is leading the public to ask important questions about whose laws apply.
Here's an example of an unexpected way to use a First Nation land code.
From northern Ontario, an example of the racism Indigenous people face on a regular basis.
- ‘Your ancestors probably scalped him’: Kenora justice of the peace to face hearing over ‘racist’ remarks
Two Indigenous MPs want to educate the PM.
Indigenous Peoples and NAFTA 2.0.
From the Courts
A divided Supreme Court released a contentious decision on the duty to consult.
- Supreme Court rules Ottawa has no duty to consult with Indigenous people before drafting laws
- SCC rules 7-2 there is no Crown duty to consult with First Nations when developing and enacting laws
- Wolastoq grand chief 'drastically disappointed' with Supreme Court ruling
- Mikisew Cree vow to continue treaty rights battle despite Supreme Court ruling
- The Supreme Court has just gutted the Crown’s duty to consult First Nations
- No duty to consult Indigenous groups on federal law-making: Supreme Court
- Mikisew Cree First Nation v. Canada (Governor General in Council), 2018 SCC 40
This is the best piece I've read to date on the Mikisew decision.
The Heiltsuk filed a law suit over the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill.
- First Nation sues tug firm, B.C., Canada over fuel spill in its territory
- Heiltsuk sue Canada on behalf of their nation, 'the coast and all Canadians'
- The Nathan E. Stewart Oil Spill
- Statement of Claim
Quote of the Week
“The big battle is coming and it is going to be huge.”
Steve Courtoreille, former chief of Alberta's Mikisew Cree First Nation
Year in Review
Kate Gunn and I have started our yearly case law review. In early January we'll publish a collection of short summaries of all the major decisions from 2018 along with a collection of case comments and critical essays. Sign up for our blog to receive the publication as a free electronic file.
Here's our summary for Squamish Nation v British Columbia (Environment), 2018 BCSC 844
The BC Supreme Court dismissed the Squamish Nation’s petition for an order setting aside the Province’s decision to issue an Environmental Assessment Certificate for the Trans Mountain Project on the basis that the Province failed to fulfil its duty to consult.
The Court found that the Province’s options were constrained by the constitutional division of powers and the federal-provincial equivalency agreement for the project assessment. The Province could issue the certificate with or without conditions, but the option of refusing to issue a certificate at all was constitutionally unavailable. Given these restraints, the Court concluded that the Province’s decision to issue the certificate was within the range of reasonable outcomes and entitled to deference.
My next workshop will be on Thursday, October 18th at Elsipogtog First Nation. Email us at email@example.com for details and to register.
Upcoming Speaking Engagements
October 14th: Later this morning I'll presenting a homily entitled "Indigenous Peoples and the Law: Stories of Resistance and Hope" at the Vancouver Unitarian Church. All are welcomed to attend. Copies of my book will be available by donation with all proceeds going to support the work of the congregation.
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.
March 1st: I'll be speaking on "Strategic Infringement Claims," at the PBLI's Consultation & Accommodation Conference in Vancouver.
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.
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