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

Aboriginal Law Report

March 8, 2020

By Bruce McIvor

This week's edition includes Indigenous governance, Aboriginal title, the duty to consult, #Wetsuweten, repatriation, racism, and more.


In the News

A draft agreement was reached between Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs and government ministers.

A First Nations justice strategy was launched in BC.

Repatriation was front and centre on Musqueam territory.

The Ring of Fire development was back in Ontario headlines.

Also in Ontario, votes were cast over the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement.

In the Northwest Territories, Dehcho self-government negotiations are ongoing.

A national climate change gathering was held in the Yukon.

A First Nations benefit sharing framework is in the works.

Land claims, governance, and Inuit identity are all hot topics in Labrador.

Racism continues to rear its head across the country.

From the Courts

The Supreme Court declined to hear the latest appeals in the Trans Mountain pipeline litigation.

FPL in the News

I’m honoured to have been included in the Canadian Lawyer Magazine’s recent piece on Indigenous legal education.

My colleague Kate Gunn and I were interviewed by various outlets on the Wet'suwet'en standoff.

Off the Press

Here’s a legal overview of recent court rulings on the duty to consult and Indigenous law.

This new book promises an insightful intersectional analysis of the Indian Act.

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

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. Click here to RSVP.

Quote of the Week

“We took this issue to the Supreme Court of Canada not only to stand up for our inherent and constitutionally protected rights, but also to make sure that Canada follows their own laws when making decisions.”

Chief Leah George-Wilson, Tsleil-Waututh Nation

Off the Bookshelf

“It is from Canadian sovereignty that Canadian courts owe their existence. Courts, therefore, cannot question the very source of their own existence without fully jeopardizing their own being.”

Patricia Monture-Angus, Standing Against Canadian Law (1998)

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.

PAUL CHARTRAND(4 months ago)
Bruce do you have a view on any explanation for the failure of either side to disputes between First Nations and the government to promote the creation of an Aboriginal Lands and Treaties Tribunal, as analysed and recommended by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples in Vol 2 of its 1996 Final Report? Each side would be represented on a Tribunal panel. This is an obvious and fair option as illustrated by the establishment of such tribunals when Canada itself reaches an agreement with the USA. The same option was also proposed by the Penner Committee in 1983. One can speculate why Canada might want to avoid a Tribunal designed to be fair to both sides but why is it not being proposed by First Nations nowadays? AFN proposed it in 1983.

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