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

Aboriginal Law Report

May 19, 2019

By Bruce McIvor

This week's edition includes Indian Day School hearings, the MMIWG Inquiry, the oil tanker ban, UNDRIP, mining reform, jury selection, genocide, fascism, and more.

In the News

The Federal Court was in Winnipeg tasked with approving the Indian Day School settlement.

Île-à-la-Crosse Boarding School Survivors also hope to start negotiating compensation with the federal government this month.

Residential School Survivors in Newfoundland and Labrador continue to await an apology from Premier Dwight Ball.

The Mi'kmaq of PEI had their appeal hearing concerning the sale of Crown land in Mill River.

A gold mining permit application for the Skagit River headwaters has generated Indigenous solidarity across the colonial border.

Set to release its final report next month, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was in the news (and Federal Court).

The Senate Transport Committee recommended defeating the northern BC coast oil tanker ban Bill C-48.

Committee hearings on Indigenous child welfare legislation Bill C-92 wrapped up in Ottawa.

UNDRIP Bill C-262 has entered its last stage of study before third and final reading in the Senate.

The federal government’s environmental assessment Bill C-69 remains in the headlines (and the Senate).

The Yellowhead Institute released a multimedia analysis of Canada's Indigenous Rights Framework.

The Qikiqtani Inuit Association delivered its report to Crown-Indigenous relations regarding oil and gas impact assessments in the Arctic.

University of Victoria's Environmental Law Centre released an action plan on BC mining law reform--check out recommendations 10 to 23 on Indigenous governance and law.

The federal government hosted a symposium on Indigenous justice systems and legal orders in Quebec.

The Indigenous Women Entrepreneurship Fund was launched in Calgary.

The Métis Nation Labour Market Strategy was launched in Winnipeg.

The federal government announced funding for water treatment plant upgrades in Nibinamik First Nation.

Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation has issued a declaration of emergency following the recent house fire in their community.

The AFN National Chief urged the Federal Government to recognize Algonquin Title to an Indigenous Peoples Space in Ottawa.

Gambler First Nation is establishing the first urban Reserve in Brandon.

The federal government has delayed the approval of a cross-border hydro transmission project in Manitoba amid concerns over inadequate consultation.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs voiced concern over the City of Winnipeg's approach to temporary homeless shelters.

Two child welfare class actions are ongoing against the province of Alberta.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer announced plans to build a coast-to-coast energy right-of-way in "full consultation" with the provinces and Indigenous peoples.

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights recognized genocide against Indigenous Peoples.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the landmark Marshall decision on Mi'kmaq Treaty rights.

RCMP footage from Kelowna drew national condemnation.

Nazi flags are flying (and burning) in Saskatchewan.

Public hearings on systemic racism in Montreal began.

Recent arrests spurred an RCMP town hall in La Loche.

The removal of Judge Begbie's statue continues to generate conversation.

Ontario’s latest budget bill will affect the province’s jury selection process.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission is speaking out against the use of discriminatory sports logos.

An Indigenous hockey team stood against racism on the ice in Montreal.

For the first time in its history, the SCC will hold two appeal hearings outside Ottawa.

The proposed South Okanagan-Similkameen National Park Reserve was back in the news.

Indigenous peoples testified in Washington D.C. on Wednesday regarding legislation to ban grizzly hunting in the lower 48 states.

Caribou recovery plans remain a hot topic in British Columbia.

Plans are underway to restore the Cariboo Wagon Road.

Skeetchestn Chief Ronald Ignace and SFU Professor Marianne Ignace were recognized on Monday for their lifelong commitment to Indigenous language revitalization.

South of the 49th parallel, Washington’s Governor withdrew support from an LNG Plant on Puyallup River Tideflats on Wednesday.

South of the equator, Torres Straight Islanders brought the first-ever climate change litigation against Australia on human rights grounds to the UN.

First Peoples Law in the News

I shared my thoughts on the recent Desautel cross-border decision on The Lawyer’s Daily this week--also check out my colleague Kate Gunn’s case comment on our website. 

On the Air

Unreserved was broadcasting from Iqaluit this week celebrating Nunavut’s 20th anniversary as a Territory.

On the Stage

A forthcoming theatre production by the Raven Collective out of Terrace follows Nisga’a MLA Larry Guno’s time as a student at the Edmonton Residential School.

Off the Record

Haisla hip hop duo Snotty Nose Rez Kids released their latest album "Trapline".

Off the Press

An important piece on the gendered and racialized violence of industrial man camps.

The first-ever Indigenous Cannabis and Hemp Magazine released its second issue this week.

From the Courts

A Nova Scotia Court of Appeal decision released this week could shed new light on the “conquered people” argument previously advanced by a government lawyer who submitted that the duty to consult was only owed to “unconquered” Indigenous peoples.

Quote of the Week

“Relationships must be consensual, be they between people or nations.”

Connie Greyeyes, Bigstone Cree Nation

Off the Bookshelf

"Aboriginal people also wonder how Crown title can be said to have ‘crystallized at the time sovereignty was asserted.’ The court may as well speak of magic crystals being sprinkled on the land as a justification for the diminution of Aboriginal occupation and possession. Crown title simply makes no sense to Aboriginal people (and one suspects to many non-Aboriginal people)."

John Borrows, Recovering Canada: The Resurgence of Indigenous Law (2002).

Download our new eBook for Free

Our new book, Canadian Aboriginal Law in 2018: Essays and Case Summaries, is now available as a free download through our website.


Bruce McIvor, lawyer and historian, is principal of First Peoples Law Corporation.  Download Bruce's bio.

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This week's Aboriginal Law Report was produced with the assistance of Cody O'Neil.

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