Aboriginal Law Report
By Bruce McIvor
In the News
Coverage of the Teztan Biny mining conflict continues in Tŝilhqot'in territory.
- Tsilhqot’in blockade points to failures of justice impeding reconciliation in Canada - Intercontinental Cry
- Get off the dead horse and end two decades of struggle over unwanted Taseko mine - The Province
In New Brunswick, the fracking debate continues.
On the west coast, the fish farm controversy churns on.
- UBCIC Open Letter: DFO Policy Not to Test for PRV Before Transferring Atlantic Salmon to the Open-Net Fish Farms
- A virus, an email, and the survival of B.C.'s wild salmon - Georgia Straight
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.
- 140 organizations and officials oppose exploratory drilling in area between 2 protected B.C. parks | CBC News
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.
- Bill removes sex-based discrimination from Indian Act, potentially extending Indian status to 450,000 people | CBC News
- First Nations women finally to be treated equally under Indian Act: Bennett - APTN News
A complaint of healthcare discrimination against Indigenous peoples was filed at the BC Human Rights Tribunal.
- Indigenous man denied spot on B.C. liver-transplant list calls alcohol abstinence policy a ‘lethal form of racism’ | The Star
- Liver transplant 'misunderstanding' means there's still hope for David Dennis - APTN News
- UBCIC, David Dennis and Frank Paul Society Challenge Racist Abstinence Exclusion for Liver Transplants
First Peoples Law is privileged to have assisted our clients in implementing the Marshall decisions in its fisheries agreement this week.
- Fisheries agreement reached between Government of Canada and the Elsipogtog and Esgenoôpetitj First Nations
The Okanagan Indian Band took legal action over unsafe drinking water on its reserves.
- Okanagan Indian Band suing federal government over water contamination - CTV News
- Okanagan First Nation sues federal government for clean drinking water but minister says it's 'entirely safe' | CBC News
The federal and Nova Scotia governments announced funding for a long-term care home at Eskasoni First Nation.
- Canada, Nova Scotia commit $29 million for long-term care facility, high speed internet in Eskasoni - APTN News
- Feds, province to fund long-term care home, high-speed internet in Eskasoni | CBC News
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.
- Hiawatha First Nation members block access to site where gas station being built on wetland | CBC News
The federal government apologized to Qikiqtani Inuit for forced relocations and sled dog killings.
- Federal government apologizes to Inuit for historic sled dog killings in the North - APTN News
- Federal government apologizes to Baffin Inuit for sled dog killings, forced relocations | CBC News
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.
- Muskrat Falls Inquiry commissioner addresses Indigenous concerns | The Compass
- Government skipped methylmercury deadline then offered 'hush money,' says Nunatsiavut president | CBC News
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.
- Frederiction hopes to resume Officers’ Square project after archeological review, First Nations consultation - Global News
Funding was announced for the University of Alberta’s Wahkohtowin Law and Governance Lodge.
- Indigenous law and governance centre at U of A receives federal funding - Folio at U of A
- U of A Indigenous law centre gets federal boost | CBC News
In Quebec, Kahnawake Elders are concerned about the expansion of Mercier Bridge.
- 'Our rights don’t end at the shoreline': Kahnawake elders push back against plans to expand Montreal bridge - APTN News
- Huge stakes for Trudeau government in latest Oka conflict | CBC News
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.
- RCMP 'sitting on' watchdog report into alleged spying on land defenders, pipeline protesters - APTN News
- 'Protest Papers' provide rare look inside state surveillance - National Observer
Cannabis isn’t leaving the headlines anytime soon.
- Feeling 'intentionally dismissed,' several Millbrook shops selling pot under treaty right claim | The Chronicle Herald
- Two First Nations, two perspectives on Ontario's cannabis licences | CBC News
- Millbrook chief says on-reserve pot sellers aren’t protected by treaty rights | The Chronicle Herald
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.