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

Aboriginal Law Report

July 5, 2020

By Bruce McIvor

This week's edition includes new court rulings, Treaty rights, judicial diversity, justice reform, FPIC, #CancelCanadaDay, and more.


In the News

#CancelCanadaDay was trending online.

Judicial diversity returned to the headlines.

Calls to decolonize mining laws continue in the Yukon.

Bill 1 received royal assent in Alberta.

Free, prior and informed consent was front and centre in Kanesatake.

South of the 49th, Treaty rights and white supremacy were in the spotlight.

Colonial statues and place names continue to spark debate across Turtle Island.

From the Courts

The Supreme Court refused to hear the Coldwater challenge to the TMX pipeline approval.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice weighed in on phase 2 of the Restoule litigation. Thanks to James Shields for sharing the decision.

The BC Supreme Court dismissed a claim for the return of reserve lands on Vancouver Island.

Upcoming Events

Make sure to check out next week’s National Indigenous Justice Summit on policing and justice reform.

I’ll be joining a great lineup of speakers at the PBLI’s upcoming program "Developments in Aboriginal and Indigenous Law" on October 27-28, 2020.

Off the Press

In case you missed it, check out our latest case comment on the Dickson decision by my colleagues Angela D’Elia Decembrini and Kate Gunn.

Check out this piece on the history of Indigenous resistance by Rayanna Seymour-Hourie published on Canada Day.

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

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.

Kitchen Table Chats

First Peoples Law is hosting a series of “Kitchen Table Chats” in response to COVID-19 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

Looking to learn more about Indigenous rights in Canada? Check out our reading list.

Quote of the Week

“The day is always a taxing, and often harmful, one. I will reflect on the 153 years my communities have resisted and survived in spite of genocide and injustice, and I will talk about the future we need and must fight to see — a future in which holidays aren’t celebrating a day which only exists at the costs of others lives. I hope Canada can do some reflecting and fighting too.”

Riley Yesno, writer and public speaker

Off the Bookshelf

“The issue is not about what you write with, but the hand that dreams when it writes. And that is what the pencil is afraid of, to realize that it is not necessary.”

Subcomandante Marcos, The Hand that Dreams When it Writes (2001)

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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