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

Aboriginal Law Report

June 23, 2019

By Bruce McIvor

This week's edition includes Indigenous Peoples Day, pipelines, police, UNDRIP, caribou, casinos, a sting operation and more.


In the News

Friday was National Indigenous Peoples Day.

The federal government approved the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

UNDRIP Bill C-262 died on the order paper.

Several other Bills received royal assent, including Indigenous child welfare Bill C-92 and Indigenous languages Bill C-91.

Unist’ot’en is awaiting an injunction decision from the BC Supreme Court.

Dene leadership was in Ottawa over their comprehensive land claim.

Consultation concerns were raised over the proposed Indigenous Peoples Space at 100 Wellington Street.

Grassy Narrows First Nation released plans for a Mercury Survivors Home and Care Centre.

Newfoundland and Labrador is seeking to strike a portion of Uashaunnuat’s claim for damages in its traditional territory, raising concerns over the constitutional jurisdiction of superior courts.

The Supreme Court’s 2016 Daniels decision was back in the headlines.

Consultation is ongoing to remove sex-based discrimination under the Indian Act.

Caribou recovery is back in the news in BC.

A conservation officer’s sting operation went public.

Parliament declared a national climate emergency.

The Walk for Common Ground concluded in Treaty 7 territory.

A municipal reconciliation plan is being proposed in Yellowknife.

South of the border, the Keystone and Enbridge pipelines were back in the news.

FPL in the News

My colleague Kate Gunn was interviewed by Business in Vancouver on potential legal challenges to the Trans Mountain pipeline.

From the Courts

In Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation v. Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, 2019 FC 813, the Federal Court dismissed an application for judicial review of the First Nations Tax Commission’s approval of a First Nation’s law that imposes a fee on a casino's wastewater services.

In Francis v. Canada, 2019 FCA 184, the Federal Court of Appeal upheld the Federal Court’s refusal to grant an advance costs order to a member of Elsipogtog First Nation seeking declaratory relief related to his Aboriginal and Treaty rights defence to unauthorized fishing in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

In Beaver v. Hill, 2019 ONCA 520, the Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed multiple appeals of previous orders in an ongoing family law dispute in which the appellant has asserted an Aboriginal and Treaty right to have the dispute decided based on Haudenosaunee law.

In Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated v. McLean, 2019 FCA 186, the Federal Court of Appeal upheld the Federal Court’s dismissal of multiple motions to intervene in the Federal Indian Day Schools settlement approval process.

The US Supreme Court dismissed a Canadian mining company’s application to appeal the Colville Confederated Tribes’ case regarding pollution in the upper Columbia River.

Off the Press

These are both important pieces on the relationship between Canadian Common Law and Indigenous Legal Orders.

This is a revealing piece on the policing of Indigenous resistance and the under-investigation of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Here’s a legal overview of the relationship between Aboriginal title and the duty to consult, as outlined in the Yukon Supreme Court’s recent decision in Ross River Dena Council v. Yukon, 2019 YKSC 26.

Here’s a good case comment on the Federal Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Southwind v. Canada, 2019 FCA 171.

Here’s an instructive piece on cultural competence in the legal profession.

This an interesting article on the significance of Treaty Day celebrations.

This new interactive map features Indigenous place names across Canada.

Lastly, this graphic novel anthology promises a thorough history lesson.

On the Air

Check out this excellent list of podcasts hosted by Indigenous women.

Quote of the Week

"Be certain that the apparatus killing this planet is a nasty one and it seems intent on finishing the dirty deed. It gains strength through violence with the jack-booted obedient servants at its beck and call. It is commanding enough to recruit our cousins if not you and me. Though it is tough as hell, it’s not that smart."

Guujaaw, Hereditary Chief Gidansta of the Haida Nation

Off the Bookshelf

"For your soul
 to rest, good captain, you must meet them, soul
 to soul, until the earth in mercy
 enfolds you — until then you’re nursing
 a zombie soul forever searching for its tomb."

Robert Sullivan, Captain Cook in the Underworld (2002).

Apply for our Indigenous Law Student Scholarship

As part of our commitment to supporting the development of Indigenous lawyers, First Peoples Law is offering a scholarship in the amount of $5,000 to an Indigenous law student with a demonstrated interest in serving and advancing the interests of Indigenous Peoples.

Deadline: July 31, 2019

Apply here.

Download the poster.

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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