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

Aboriginal Law Report

August 18, 2019

By Bruce McIvor

This week's edition includes fracking, fish farms, Treaty negotiations, Indigenous law, colonial surveillance and more. 

 

 

In the News

Coverage of the Teztan Biny mining conflict continues in Tŝilhqot'in territory.

In New Brunswick, the fracking debate continues.

On the west coast, the fish farm controversy churns on.

Environmental assessments and Indigenous consultation are hot topics on the east coast.

Opposition to mining in the Skagit headwaters continues to grow in British Columbia and Washington State.

The Frontier mine proposed for northeastern Alberta remains subject to provincial and federal approval.

Bill S-3 provisions aimed at eliminating sex-based discrimination from the Indian Act came into force.

A complaint of healthcare discrimination against Indigenous peoples was filed at the BC Human Rights Tribunal.

First Peoples Law is privileged to have assisted our clients in implementing the Marshall decisions in its fisheries agreement this week.

The Okanagan Indian Band took legal action over unsafe drinking water on its reserves.

The federal and Nova Scotia governments announced funding for a long-term care home at Eskasoni First Nation.

Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek unveiled a new electricity system.

A First Nations revenue-sharing body was announced in British Columbia.

Also in BC, Wei Wai Kum and Kwiakah First Nations took an important step in their Treaty negotiations.

A checkpoint was set up at Hiawatha First Nation.

The federal government apologized to Qikiqtani Inuit for forced relocations and sled dog killings.

Funding was announced for multiple projects throughout the Northwest Territories.

First Nations in Manitoba raised concerns over a lack of consultation about floodwater diversion plans.

A fishing site conflict is ongoing in northern BC.

The Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project remains front and centre in Labrador.

The Eagle Spirit Energy Corridor returned to the headlines

The City of Fredericton announced its downtown revitalization project will be subject to Indigenous consultation. On the municipal obligation to discharge the duty to consult, check out this piece co-authored by First Peoples Law’s Angela D’Elia Decembrini.

Funding was announced for the University of Alberta’s Wahkohtowin Law and Governance Lodge.

In Quebec, Kahnawake Elders are concerned about the expansion of Mercier Bridge.

The devolution of federal decision-making power in Nunavut is ongoing.

Seals and sea lions are a hot topic on the west coast.

The Manitoba Métis Federation’s Two-Spirit Michif local held its first meeting in Winnipeg.

Grand Council Treaty 3 and the Southern Chiefs Organization hosted an Anishinaabe gathering.

The federal government is urging the RCMP to respond to an investigation into the alleged surveillance of Indigenous land defenders and pipeline protestors.

Cannabis isn’t leaving the headlines anytime soon.

From the Courts

In Interlake Reserves Tribal Council v. Canada (Environment and Climate Change), 2019 FC 1067, the Federal Court dismissed five First Nations’ and a Tribal Council’s judicial review of a ministerial decision not to refer the environmental assessment of a flood control management project to a review panel. The court found the Minister’s decision to be within the range of possible, reasonable outcomes.

In Nova Scotia (Attorney General) v. Nova Scotia (Utility and Review Board), 2019 NSCA 66, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal dismissed the province’s appeal of a Nova Scotia Utilities and Review Board decision that found consultation between the Crown and Mi’kmaq representatives over a dam refurbishment project to be inadequate. The court found that the board had jurisdiction to rule on the adequacy of consultation.

Off the Press

Here’s a powerful feature on Treaty rights, Grassroots Grandmothers, and the “conquered peoples” argument in Mi’kma’ki.

Here’s an informative article on the Columbia River Treaty renegotiations and salmon reintroduction plan.

This is an interesting piece on freedom of the press in Nisga’a territory.

This is a good piece featuring faces of resistance to the Trans Mountain pipeline project.

Here’s a revealing article on the relationship between Specific Claims and Aboriginal title in Kanehsatà:ke Mohawk Territory.

Lastly, here's an insightful feature on the history of cedar and Indigenous rights on Haida Gwaii.

On the Air

Check out this new podcast on Indigenous child welfare in BC.

Here’s an interesting feature on Indigenous jurisdiction and biodiversity.

Here’s a good interview on Indigenous language revitalization.

Quote of the Week

“We were a river people – our rights don’t end at the shoreline.”

Kahnawake Longhouse Elder Kenneth Deer

Off the Bookshelf

“To understand just one life you have to swallow the world.”

Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children (1981)

Off the Record

“Give up the Prime, you're a Minister. As a matter of fact, you're a visitor.”

Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Johnny’s Teeth (2017)

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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