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

Aboriginal Law Report

June 30, 2019

By Bruce McIvor

This week's edition includes dams, mines, Treaty negotiations, self-government, Indigenous law, border crossings, and more.


In the News

The Trans Mountain pipeline is not leaving the news anytime soon.

The Dehcho Annual Assembly was held in Treaty 11 territory.

The Ktunaxa, Okanagan, and Secwepemc Nations were in Washington, D.C. observing the Columbia River Treaty negotiations.

Industrial man camps are causing serious concern in Unist'ot'en territory.

The federal government signed self-government agreements with the Métis Nation of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario.

The Site C dam made a return to the headlines.

The federal government announced LNG funding.

The Tsilhqot’in Nation made calls to de-escalate an ongoing mining conflict in its territory.

The BC First Nation Forestry Council launched its new strategy in Syilx territory.

The Southern Dakelh Nation Alliance and the federal government signed a Pathways Agreement.

The Athabasca Dene land claim remains stalled amid concerns of inadequate consultation.

Custom election codes were front and centre at the Ojibway Nation of Saugeen.

Chloride levels are raising concern near Fort Liard.

Snow crabs and Treaty rights remain a hot topic in New Brunswick.

An Iqaluit bylaw was rejected by Nunavut amid human rights concerns.

Saskatchewan heritage laws were back in the news.

Birth alerts are ongoing.

Mining protests took place in Toronto.

Land acknowledgements were in the spotlight.

Cowichan Tribes are still waiting on their retail cannabis license.

An Industrial School cemetery near Regina was transferred to a commemorative association.

A Residential School memorial site was unveiled in Thunder Bay.

The federal government announced funding for an Indigenous legal lodge at the University of Victoria.

From the Courts

In Government of Nunavut (Attorney General and Minister of Environment) v. Arctic Kingdom Inc., 2019 NUCJ 10, the Nunavut Court of Justice held that a licensing provision of the Nunavut Wildlife Act is intra vires and does not impede Inuit hunting rights. The Court also noted that the Wildlife Act is intended to incorporate Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit into public law.

Off the Press

Here’s a good account of the federal government’s impoverished understanding of free, prior, and informed consent.

This is a good piece on the recent death of UNDRIP Bill C-262.

Here’s an interesting piece on the lack of protection for Indigenous intellectual property under Canadian law.

Check out this investigative piece on the assertion of Indigenous legal orders.

This is a revealing piece on the ongoing violence of colonial border crossings for Indigenous peoples.

This article provides a good background in light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision to dismiss the Tsilhqot’in National Government’s appeal of a Taseko Mines drilling permit.

This new book promises lots of insight on the implementation of UNDRIP from the perspective of Indigenous, international, and Canadian law.

Lastly, here’s a 2019 “wreckonciliation” recap.

On the Screen

Check out Amanda Strong’s new film Biidaaban (The Dawn Comes), now available online.

Quote of the Week

“It’s not enough to create legislation that holds the colonial governments accountable to International human rights standards and to Indigenous ways of being; it will take structural and institutional change in order to see justice on stolen lands. Let us rise with more energy. Let us stand with a greater determination. On behalf of the millions who are building resistance and beauty in our communities: our spirit is not broken.”

Romeo Saganash

Off the Bookshelf

“Only fools accept that a society that requires force to ensure proper social conduct is a democratic one. Without the voice of the trammelled and the dispossessed, democracy is but an echo in the canyons of the minds of lunatics.”

Lee Maracle, I Am Woman: A Native Perspective on Sociology and Feminism (1996).

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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