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

Aboriginal Law Report

May 3, 2020

By Bruce McIvor

This week's edition includes COVID-19, the Wet'suwet'en standoff, Treaty rights, Aboriginal title, child welfare, food security, injunctions, and more.


In the News

COVID-19 continues to top the agenda.

Wet’suwet’en title and rights returned to the headlines.

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project continues to raise concerns.

Treaty rights were front and centre in the Northwest Territories.

Flooding is forcing difficult decisions in the Yukon.

Child welfare remains a hot topic in Manitoba.

From the Courts

The Yukon Court of Appeal weighed in on the duty to consult and Aboriginal title.

Maurice Johnson was found not guilty in the death of Brady Francis.

First Peoples Law in the News

My colleague Kate Gunn and I were featured in the CLEBC’s “In the Spotlight” for our contributions to the “Aboriginal Rights Litigation” chapter in the upcoming edition of Injunctions—British Columbia Law and Practice.

Off the Press

In case you missed it, check out my colleague Kate Gunn’s comment on the Southwind litigation.

Here’s an informative brief on food security and COVID-19.

First Peoples Law is co-editor of the 2020 edition of Annotated Aboriginal Law, available here.

Kitchen Table Chats

First Peoples Law is hosting a series of “Kitchen Table Chats” in response to the evolving COVID-19 situation to provide an opportunity for Indigenous people to share information and develop strategies to help their communities stay safe and healthy.

If you’d like to register for an upcoming session, please email us at  with your contact information, position, and the name of your organization/community.

April Book Sales

All proceeds from my book Essays on Canadian Law and Decolonization this month went to the Native Women’s Association of Canada to support their COVID-19 Action Plan for Indigenous women and their families across the country. Thanks to everyone who bought a book! I'll sign your copy next time I see you.

First Peoples Law Reading List

For anyone looking to learn more about Aboriginal law and Indigenous rights in Canada during this time of social distancing, check out our latest reading list.

Quote of the Week

"People in our communities are overstretched and exhausted. It should be obvious that we would be currently unable to engage meaningfully with proponents and government bodies due to capacity issues and health and safety concerns stemming from the pandemic."

Chief Chris Moonias, Neskantaga First Nation

Off the Bookshelf

"And there are stars, but none of you, to spare."

June Jordan, Sunflower Sonnet Number Two (1977)

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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