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

Aboriginal Law Report

June 14, 2020

By Bruce McIvor

This week's edition includes Charter rights, systemic racism, environmental monitoring, Day Schools, Indigenous jurisdiction, our new e-book, and more.


In the News

Saik’uz and Stellat’en First Nations’ Aboriginal rights action is ongoing.

Cannabis and Indigenous jurisdiction were hot topics in Syilx territory.

Bill 1 is awaiting royal assent in Alberta.

Also in Alberta, First Nations are challenging the suspension of environmental monitoring requirements during COVID-19.

The Day School litigation returned to the headlines.

Police violence and systemic racism remain in the spotlight.

First Nations continue to exercise their inherent decision-making authority amidst COVID-19.

From the Courts

The Yukon Supreme Court ruled on the connection between Charter and Section 35 rights.

The Manitoba Court of Appeal weighed in on hydro rates on reserve.

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.

Apply now!

Check out our feature on last year’s recipients.

Upcoming Events

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.

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.

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.

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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