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

Aboriginal Law Report

July 7, 2019

By Bruce McIvor

This week's edition includes blockades, National Parks, Treaty rights, carbon pricing, cannabis, a hunger strike, and more.


In the News

The Trans Mountain pipeline continues to dominate the headlines.

A long-standing mining conflict continues in Tŝilhqot’in territory. Read the Tŝilhqot’in National Government’s latest press release here.

Pheasant Rump Nakota Nation opened a cannabis dispensary under its Traditional Medicinal Plants Act. First Peoples Law is honoured to have assisted our client in reaching this important milestone.

Ditidaht and Pacheedaht First Nations signed a Treaty Agreement in Principle.

The Blood Tribe reached a settlement agreement with the federal government.

Tobique and Madawaska First Nations launched a legal action over access to the snow crab fishery.

The Council of Yukon First Nations general assembly was held in Dawson City.

LNG debate flared up again.

A toxic spill was simulated in the Skeena River.

A hunger strike took place in Ottawa.

The issue of multiple legal authorities came to the fore in Awenda Provincial Park.

The Haudenosaunee Confederacy blockade continues at Six Nations.

National Parks and conservation areas are a hot topic at the moment.

Statues made a return to the headlines.

South of the equator, Indigenous Peoples are launching legal challenges based on inadequate consultation under international law.

From the Courts

In Reference re Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, 2019 ONCA 544, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that Canada’s carbon pricing legislation is constitutional. The court also highlighted the particularly serious impact of climate change on Indigenous nations, noting the “traditionally close relationship between Indigenous peoples and the land and waters on which they live.”

In Nova Scotia (Attorney General) v. Cameron, 2019 NSCA 58, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal dismissed the province’s motion to stay a previous order releasing information on the “conquered people” argument advanced by a Crown lawyer in a 2016 duty to consult case.

Off the Press

This new essay series includes articles on Indigenous legal orders, UNDRIP implementation, impact assessment processes, Treaty rights, and more.

Here’s an excellent investigative feature on Indigenous stewardship, protected areas, forced relocations, and climate change.

This is an important call to lawyers in light of the MMIWG Final Report.

This piece highlights the ongoing threat of industrial “man camps” to Indigenous women and girls.

Here are two pieces on last week’s Métis Nation self-government agreements.

Here’s another case comment on the Yukon Supreme Court’s recent decision in Ross River Dena Council v. Yukon, 2019 YKSC 26.

Check out this feature on Lil’wat Nation hereditary chief Hubie Jim.

Here’s an overview of recent changes to forestry policy and the implications for Indigenous tenure.

Here’s another good investigative piece on caribou recovery, coal mining, and climate change in Treaty 8.

This is an interesting historical feature on Nahneebahweequay’s fight for Anishinaabe land rights.

This is an informative piece on Tribal efforts to restore the Salish Sea.

Lastly, here’s an important piece on resisting "data colonization."

On the Air

Here’s a good interview on land acknowledgements.

On the Screen

Barb Cranmer and Doreen Manuel were honoured at the Women in Film and Television Awards in Vancouver.

Quote of the Week

“Even if the Supreme Court of Canada says you have rights and title, it seems like it doesn’t mean anything. This whole issue comes down to human rights. We’re no different from any other nation in the world that has industries abusing their rights for profit. The genocide is still here, it hasn’t left."

Chief Francis Laceese, Tl’esqox of the Tŝilhqot’in

Off the Bookshelf

“We don’t own our mothers. We don’t own our bodies or our land - maybe I’m unsure. We become the land when we are buried in it. Our grandmothers have been uprooted and shelved in boxes, placed on slabs of plastic, or packed neatly in rooms, or turned into artifact - all after proper burials. Indians aren’t always allowed to rest in peace. I want to be buried in a bone garden with my ancestors someday. I’d like to belong to that."

Terese Marie Mailhot, Heart Berries: A Memoir (2018).

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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