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

Aboriginal Law Report

June 7, 2020

By Bruce McIvor

This week's edition includes our Indigenous law student scholarship, the tar sands trial, police brutality, brining, Indigenous jurisdiction, cannabis, and more.


In the News

Police violence and systemic racism were front and centre across the country.

Beaver Lake Cree Nation was back in court over the cost of its “tar sands trial.”

The Alton Gas dispute resurfaced in Mi’kmaq territory.

Injunction arrests in Wet'suwet'en territory were back in BC headlines.

First Nations continue to assert their jurisdiction over cannabis.

The Sixties Scoop litigation is ongoing.

COVID-19 continues to top the news cycle.

From the Courts

The Federal Court weighed in on Band Council Resolutions.

Off the Press

Thanks to the Centre for Constitutional Studies at the University of Alberta for republishing another article from our COVID-19 series, this time by my colleague Kate Gunn: Indigenous Peoples and COVID-19: Protecting People, Protecting Rights

Apply Now: Indigenous Law Student Scholarship

As part of our commitment to supporting the development of Indigenous lawyers, First Peoples Law is offering a scholarship in the amount of $5,000 to an Indigenous law student with a demonstrated interest in serving and advancing the interests of Indigenous Peoples.

Apply now here.

Download our poster.

Check out our feature on last year’s recipients.

First Peoples Law Reading List

Looking to learn more about Aboriginal law and Indigenous rights in Canada during this time of social distancing? Check out our reading list.

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.

Quote of the Week

“In both Canada and America, police originated as agents of colonization, complicit with legal systems that upheld white supremacy.”

Chief Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Neskonlith Indian Band

Off the Bookshelf

“There are plenty of good people in this country. We are two a penny, we good and nearly good. What the times call for is quite different from goodness. The times call for heroism.”

J.M. Coetzee, Age of Iron (1990)

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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