Aboriginal Law Report
By Bruce McIvor
In the News
Saik’uz and Stellat’en First Nations’ Aboriginal rights action is ongoing.
- Northern B.C. First Nations wrap up testimony in supreme court case against Rio Tinto (Alcan) - Prince George Matters
Cannabis and Indigenous jurisdiction were hot topics in Syilx territory.
Bill 1 is awaiting royal assent in Alberta.
- Contentious Alberta Bill Is 'Racially Targeted': First Nations Leaders - Huffington Post
- Alberta Bans Pipeline Protests in Totally Normal Move - VICE
Also in Alberta, First Nations are challenging the suspension of environmental monitoring requirements during COVID-19.
- A dozen conservation and Indigenous groups ask Wilkinson to force Alberta to reinstate oilpatch monitoring - National Observer
- First Nations appeal Alberta Energy Regulator decision to suspend monitoring requirements | CBC News
- Ottawa asked to intervene, reinstate Alberta's oilpatch monitoring | CBC News
The Day School litigation returned to the headlines.
- Indian day school survivors to no longer be allowed to modify their claims in national settlement | CBC News
Police violence and systemic racism remain in the spotlight.
- RCMP boss reverses comments, acknowledges systemic racism in force - APTN News
- Boushie family lawyer among voices condemning top-ranking Mountie's denial of systemic racism in policing | CBC News
- Chief Allan Adam calls for RCMP ‘overhaul’ after violent arrest video - APTN News
- Shale gas protesters react in disbelief to watchdog findings | CBC News
- Extraordinary police violence against Indigenous people must end | Ricochet
- Court documents detail allegations of violence, cruelty and racism by northern RCMP - APTN News
First Nations continue to exercise their inherent decision-making authority amidst COVID-19.
- First Nations may continue to keep borders closed despite provincial plans, Chief Bellegarde says - Globe and Mail
- How First Nations are finding ways to keep COVID-19—and outsiders—at bay - Macleans.ca
- Tribal council to restrict entry to most of Vancouver Island's west coast until COVID-19 safety conditions met | CBC News
- Protecting communities, elders paramount for First Nations during COVID-19 - Vancouver Sun
From the Courts
The Yukon Supreme Court ruled on the connection between Charter and Section 35 rights.
- Dickson v. Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, 2020 YKSC 22
- Charter applies to Vuntut Gwitchin, residency requirement not discriminatory, Yukon judge rules - Yukon News
- First Nation can require councillors to live in Yukon community: judge - The Turtle Island News
The Manitoba Court of Appeal weighed in on hydro rates on reserve.
- Manitoba (Hydro-Electric Board) v Manitoba (Public Utilities Board) et al, 2020 MBCA 60
- Court rules out lower Hydro rate for First Nations - Winnipeg Free Press
- Cheaper electricity rate for customers on First Nations not allowed, Manitoba appeal court rules | CBC News
Off the Press
Check out our new e-book: Reconciliation on Trial: Wet'suwet'en, Aboriginal Title and the Rule of Law.
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 currently enrolled at a Canadian law school with a demonstrated interest in serving and advancing the interests of Indigenous Peoples.
Check out our feature on last year’s recipients.
On June 23, I’ll be giving a webinar on land management, planning and Indigenous communities as part of the Canadian Institute of Planners’ Indigenous History Month Webinar Series.
Check out this webinar on the Federal Contraventions Act and Indigenous law.
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.
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 reading list.
Quote of the Week
“They have to overhaul their system. Systemic racism goes back with the RCMP over 150 years since they were formed, and it’s deep rooted that much.”
Chief Allan Adam, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation
Off the Bookshelf
“To accept one’s past—one’s history—is not the same thing as drowning in it; it is learning how to use it. An invented past can never be used; it cracks and crumbles under the pressures of life like clay in a season of drought.”
James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time (1963)
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.
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This week's Aboriginal Law Report was produced with the assistance of Cody O'Neil.