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

Aboriginal Law Report

August 4, 2019

By Bruce McIvor

This week's edition includes hunting rights, injunctions, protected areas, UNDRIP, cannabis, archaeology, and more. 


In the News

The Tŝilhqot'in Nation and Taseko Mines were back in BC Supreme Court.

Indigenous Nations of the Columbia River Basin reached a historic agreement for salmon reintroduction.

Wabauskang and Lac Seul First Nations signed a mining agreement.

The Muskrat Falls inquiry is ongoing.

File Hills Qu'appelle Tribal Council announced a greenhouse partnership with Farm Credit Canada.

A hydro partnership was signed in James Smith Cree Nation territory.

The Tahltan Nation purchased a stake in hydro facilities.

The Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council blockade came to an end at Six Nations.

Indigenous law and Treaty rights came to the fore in northern BC.

The federal government announced new marine protected areas and a housing agreement in Iqaluit.

The Trans Mountain and Coastal GasLink pipelines were back in the news.

The BC First Nations Energy and Mining Council released its report on mining disasters. Read the full report here.

The Mi’kmaq Grand Council selected a new Grand Chief.

A hunger strike ended at Attawapiskat First Nation.

A forced sterilization class action is underway in Manitoba.

A monument to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls was unveiled at Sagkeeng First Nation.

Kanesatake is still awaiting an apology.

The “conquered peoples” argument hasn’t left the headlines.

The Iskapowishak Grassroots Treaty walk arrived in Edmonton.

Caribou made a return to the news in BC.

FPL in the News

My interview with The Future Economy on mining, consent, and Indigenous peoples was published this week.

My colleague Jesse Donovan penned a great piece on Indigenous jurisdiction and cannabis legislation at the Institute for Research on Public Policy.

From the Courts

The Saskatchewan Provincial Court held that provincial legislation does not unilaterally remove the constitutionally protected hunting rights of “Treaty Indians” as described in the Natural Resources Transfer Agreement.

In Kawacatoose First Nation et. al. v. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2019 SCTC 3, the Specific Claims Tribunal ruled on which First Nations were intended to benefit from the 1889 creation of the Last Mountain Reserve in the Qu’Appelle Valley. The next stage of the claim will deal with the Reserve's surrender in 1918.

In Cowichan Tribes v. Canada (Attorney General), 2019 BCSC 1243, the BC Supreme Court ruled on the permissibility of entering into evidence an affidavit and statutory declaration of two Cowichan Tribes elders. The ultimate admissibility of the evidence will be determined at the Aboriginal title trial starting in September.

Off the Press

Here’s a new report on UNDRIP and free, prior, and informed consent in the context of land-use planning.

The Joint Review Panel Report on Teck Resources’ Frontier Mine is available here.

This is a great piece on Canada’s marine pollution laws by Heiltsuk Chief Councillor Marilyn Slett.

Here’s an interesting feature on the proposed South Okanagan-Similkameen National Park Reserve.

Here’s a revealing feature on the colonial history of Parliament Hill.

This is a powerful piece paralleling the experiences of Coast Salish peoples and southern resident killer whales.

This is an interesting piece on legislating rights for nature.

Here's a feature on "energy sovereignty" at Six Nations.

Lastly, here are some recent findings on the biodiversity of Indigenous-managed lands.

On the Air

Here’s a new podcast on the legal history and interpretation of the Douglas Treaties.

Here’s a podcast episode on Indigenous law and the senses.

On the Screen

Here’s a preview of Indigenous films featured at TIFF this year.

Indigenous Cinema on Wheels was in Treaty 1.

Quote of the Week

“We’re very emotional about this country that we love, but that’s how we get manipulated. Instead of listening to us, non-Indigenous Canadians kind of run away because they want to love Canada. The Creator gave us the best gift, and it’s our minds. And so often we’re duped by our hearts.”

Lynn Gehl, Algonquin Anishinaabe-kwe, author, and artist

Off the Bookshelf 

“Without the night, no stars would sing their songs.”

Jeannette Armstrong, Whispering in Shadows (2000).

Scholarship Applications Now Closed

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. 

We received tremendous interest from across the country with close to 100 applications. A winner will be selected by the end of August.

Thank you and good luck to all applicants!

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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