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

Aboriginal Law Report

March 1, 2020

By Bruce McIvor

This week's edition includes #Wetsuweten, white supremacy, injunctions, anti-protestor legislation, legal history, several court rulings, and more.


In the News

Federal and provincial ministers have entered talks with Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs.

Also in BC, the Cheslatta Carrier Nation reached a historic agreement.

Teck Resources withdrew its application for the Frontier mine.

Also in Alberta, the provincial government tabled its "blockade bill."

The Sixties Scoop settlement was back in Saskatchewan headlines.

Passamaquoddy recognition talks are nearing completion in New Brunswick.

In Nova Scotia, a "moderate living fishery" agreement is in the works.

Indigenous jurisdiction over conservation is front and centre across the territories.

Ottawa’s legal challenge to First Nations child welfare compensation continues.

From the Courts

The BC Supreme Court ruled on court hearing fees in Blueberry River First Nations’ Treaty infringement trial and document disclosure in Nuchatlaht’s Aboriginal title trial.

The Alberta Court of Appeal weighed in on federal carbon pricing.

Here’s the Federal Court’s latest band membership decision.

Off the Press

In case you missed it, here is our three-part Wet'suwet'en series.

  1. Reconciliation at the End of a Gun: The Wet’suwet’en and the RCMP
  2. The Wet'suwet'en, Aboriginal Title, and the Rule of Law: An Explainer
  3. The Wet’suwet’en, Governments and Indigenous Peoples: A 5 Step Plan for Reconciliation

Here’s a good overview of the colonial injunction industry.

This new book promises an insightful legal history of Aboriginal law. 

First Peoples Law is co-editor of the 2020 edition of Annotated Aboriginal Law. The book is now published and available here.

Public Education

I'm honoured to have shared a panel on #Wetsuweten with Victoria Redsun, Hetxw’ms Gyetxw, and Niigaan Sinclair at the Winnipeg Art Gallery on Thursday following a screening of Invasion.

Upcoming Events

I’ll be giving a talk at Banyen Books & Sound on March 11 on “First Peoples Law, Decolonization, and the Struggle for Justice in Canada.” Here are the details.

The Honourable Marion Buller will be giving the keynote at the UBC Indigenous Law Students Association reception and fundraiser on March 12.

Quote of the Week

"In the hands of industry and governments alike, the injunction, still billed as an extraordinary legal remedy, has emerged as the all-too-ordinary response to Indigenous assertions of jurisdiction and solidarity."

Shiri Pasternak and Irina Ceric

Off the Bookshelf

"You cannot exclude unless you assume you already own."

Aileen Moreton-Robinson, The White Possessive: Property, Power, and Indigenous Sovereignty (2015)

Bruce McIvor, lawyer and historian, is principal of First Peoples Law Corporation. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia’s Allard School of Law where he teaches the constitutional law of Aboriginal and Treaty rights. Bruce is a proud Métis from the Red River in Manitoba. He holds a Ph.D. in Aboriginal and environmental history and is a Fulbright Scholar. A member of the bar in British Columbia and Ontario, Bruce is recognized nationally and internationally as a leading practitioner of Aboriginal law in Canada.

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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