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

Aboriginal Law Report

June 2, 2019

By Bruce McIvor

This week's edition includes UNDRIP, Treaty rights, self-governance, consultation, Arctic patrol ships, and more.

In the News

Indigenous opposition to federal policy took place across the country.

A hydro agreement was signed in Northern Quebec.

Manitoba unveiled an Indigenous consultation protocol for mining projects in the province.

The federal government released its plans for Atlantic salmon conservation.

The Fort McKay Métis declared self-governance.

Blueberry River First Nations began their Treaty rights trial.

Grassy Narrows First Nation received visits from the UN and Ottawa.

Several Senate committees reviewed bills concerning Indigenous peoples. UNDRIP Bill C-262 discussion can be streamed here and here.

Coast Salish nations voiced their opposition to shipping terminal expansion in Delta.

Environmental assessment of the Springbank reservoir is underway in Tsuut’ina territory.

New offshore patrol ships are coming to the Arctic.

Caribou recovery remains in the headlines.

Two weeks to go before Ottawa's decision on Trans Mountain.

Land acknowledgements (or lack thereof) were in the news.

The “conquered peoples” argument is back (yet again).

The federal government proposed a new citizenship oath.

It was National Reconciliation Week in Australia.

Across the Atlantic, Kayapo Chief Raoni met with the Pope.

From the Courts

The BC Court of Appeal's recent bitumen reference decision in Reference re Environmental Management Act (British Columbia), 2019 BCCA 181 represents a missed opportunity to engage with Indigenous legal orders. Check out my colleague Kate Gunn's case comment.

In Ross River Dena Council v. Yukon, 2019 YKSC 26, the Yukon Territory Supreme Court confirmed its previous ruling that Yukon's duty to consult does not need to be discharged prior to issuing hunting licences and seals under the Wildlife Act.

The Federal Court issued its first-ever ruling in both Cree and Dené in Whalen v. Fort McMurray No. 468 First Nation, 2019 FC 732.

On the Air

Romeo Saganash sat down with APTN to discuss UNDRIP Bill C-262.

On the Screen

As Tasha Hubbard’s new film Nipawistamasowin began its national screenings, Saskatchewan’s new trespass laws were back in the news.

Check out our previous commentary on this Treaty rights issue.

Off the Press

An investigation of fish farms, pathogens, and litigation.

This is an important piece on the patriarchal history of colonialism.

Lastly, some commentary on democratic accountability under the Indian Act.

Quote of the Week

“The idea of free, prior, and informed consent is not new to Canadian law, but it has been ignored, and it continues to be ignored today in this public debate.”

Senator Murray Sinclair

Off the Bookshelf

"Real recognition of our presence and humanity would require a genuine reconsideration of so many people’s role in North American society that it would amount to a genuine leap of imagination."

George Manuel, The Fourth World: An Indian Reality (1974). 

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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