Aboriginal Law Report
By Bruce McIvor
In the News
The AFN Special Chiefs Assembly was held in Ottawa.
- ‘Reconciliation is not just words’: B.C. Premier Horgan speaks to the Assembly of First Nations - Global News
- Perry Bellegarde says national focus needed on suicide crisis among Indigenous youth - Globe and Mail
- Jody Wilson-Raybould to push for Indigenous rights recognition framework | CBC News
Uncertainty continues to loom over the implementation of Indigenous child welfare legislation.
- ‘Kids will fall through the cracks:’ Advocates critical of child-welfare changes - CFJC Today
- Amid uncertainty, Manitoba First Nations, Métis communities consider control of child welfare services | CBC News
- Ottawa failed to work with First Nations to prepare for new child welfare law, says AFN national chief | CBC News
The federal government vowed to move ahead with UNDRIP legislation.
- UNDRIP, MMIWG action plan on the way, feds tell First Nation chiefs - APTN News
- Trudeau government moving forward on UN Indigenous rights legislation, says minister | CBC News
- Liberals promise to table UNDRIP law within one year | Nunatsiaq News
Reconciliation was a central theme in the Governor General’s throne speech.
- After UNDRIP, MMIWG commitments, attention turns to throne speech for hint of what comes next - APTN News
- Reconciliation 'must continue’: Indigenous peoples a key focus of Throne Speech - Globe and Mail
- Throne speech lacks substance, opposition says - APTN News
The Organization of American States weighed in on Canada’s lack of response to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
- Canada taking too long to act on MMIWG inquiry findings, says leader of international group of American countries - National Post
- Government eyes June national action plan on missing, murdered Indigenous women - Globe and Mail
The Supreme Court is set to hear the bitumen reference case next month. Check out my colleague Kate Gunn’s case comment on the BCCA’s decision here.
In BC, Lheidli T'enneh First Nation held its first potlatch in over 7 decades.
- Lheidli T’enneh Nation celebrates historic night with first potlatch in nearly a century - APTN News
- 'We took a giant leap forward': Northern B.C. First Nation holds 1st potlatch in 73 years | CBC News
In Alberta, the Trans Mountain Corporation announced its pipeline construction plans.
- Trans Mountain CEO outlines estimated timeline of pipeline expansion - Global News
- Trans Mountain to start construction on pipeline expansion after years of delay | CBC News
In Manitoba, Tataskweyak Cree Nation filed a Charter class action over unsafe drinking water.
- 'Inertia and incompetence': Manitoba First Nation launches proposed class action over water advisories | CBC News
- ‘Poison:’ Manitoba First Nation seeking class action over boil water advisories - The Province
In Ontario, Grassy Narrows First Nation continues to demand action on its proposed mercury treatment centre.
- Grassy Narrows chief calls for end to delays on mercury treatment centre - Sudbury Star
- Grassy Narrows reminds Canada of unkept promises as AFN sets its priority agenda - APTN News
First Peoples Law in the News
I was interviewed by the Lawyer’s Daily on BC’s new UNDRIP legislation.
My colleague Jesse Donovan and I had a great week meeting people from across the country at the AFN Winter meetings in Ottawa.
From the Courts
The SCC weighed in on a remediation order for a mercury waste disposal site near Grassy Narrows First Nation.
- R v Resolute FP Canada Inc, 2019 SCC 60
- Supreme Court sides with Ontario against previous owners of abandoned Dryden mercury disposal site - APTN News
- Companies must pay for Grassy Narrows mill site contaminated by mercury, Canada's top court rules | CBC News
This Federal Court decision gives a good overview of procedural fairness surrounding banishment bylaws.
The Alberta Provincial Court considered whether a driving prohibition could be enforced on Reserve land.
This application to strike raises the issues of proper rights representatives and the duty to consult.
Off the Screen
Check out this 5-part documentary series on Shoal Lake 40 First Nation’s fight for Freedom Road.
Check out Unist’ot’en’s film INVASION on the ongoing resistance to colonial violence in Wet’suwet’en territory.
Quote of the Week
“Self-determination is the foundation of UNDRIP. First Nations can pursue their own political status. It is not up to BC to decide who the proper rights and title holders are."
Judith Sayers, Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council President, on BC’s new UNDRIP law
Off the Bookshelf
“A village emptied of its children is a haunting.”
Billy-Ray Belcourt, NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field (2019)
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.