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

Aboriginal Law Report

July 19, 2020

By Bruce McIvor

This week's edition includes Treaty rights, land claims, birth alerts, banishment bylaws, a class action, our new podcast and more.


In the News

Treaty rights, consultation and environmental monitoring were front and centre in the Northwest Territories.

A century-old land claim is before the Specific Claims Tribunal in Saskatchewan.

In Manitoba, a class action is underway over First Nations’ access to safe drinking water.

Birth alerts and banishment bylaws were in the Ontario spotlight.

Nova Scotia news included Treaty rights, land claims and the “unconquered people” argument.

First Nations continue to exercise their inherent jurisdiction in the face of COVID-19.

First Peoples Lawcast

We launched our new podcast on the defence of Indigenous rights this week. In our first episode, my colleague Kate Gunn and I discuss our new e-book Reconciliation on Trial: Wet’suwet’en, Aboriginal Title and the Rule of Law. Check it out here.

First Peoples Law Career Opportunity - Lawyer

We’re seeking an experienced lawyer to join our team dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Check out our posting here.

Upcoming Events

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

Off the Press

Check out this online book launch with Gina Starblanket and Dallas Hunt on July 20: "Storying Violence: Unravelling Colonial Narratives in the Stanley Trial.”

My colleague Kate Gunn and I contributed to the Aboriginal rights litigation chapter in the BC CLE’s latest edition of Injunctions: BC Law and Practice, now available online.

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! The deadline is July 31, 2020.

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

"Icons and symbols are really powerful tools for shaping our consciousness. And if nation-states are allowing team sports to use these racist icons and names, then their citizenry is going to be racist."

Dr. Lynn Gehl

Off the Bookshelf

“Everybody knows there is no fineness or accuracy of suppression; if you hold down one thing you hold down the adjoining.”

Saul Bellow, The Adventures of Augie March (1949)

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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