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

Aboriginal Law Report

December 8, 2019

By Bruce McIvor

This week's edition includes a Supreme Court ruling, child welfare, UNDRIP, a Charter challenge, banishment, bitumen, and more.


In the News

The AFN Special Chiefs Assembly was held in Ottawa.

Uncertainty continues to loom over the implementation of Indigenous child welfare legislation.

The federal government vowed to move ahead with UNDRIP legislation.

Reconciliation was a central theme in the Governor General’s throne speech.

The Organization of American States weighed in on Canada’s lack of response to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

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.

In Alberta, the Trans Mountain Corporation announced its pipeline construction plans.

In Manitoba, Tataskweyak Cree Nation filed a Charter class action over unsafe drinking water.

In Ontario, Grassy Narrows First Nation continues to demand action on its proposed mercury treatment centre.

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.

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.

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