First Nations

News & Analysis as of

Federal Court of Appeal: Government Failed to Adequately Consult with First Nations on Northern Gateway

On June 23, 2016, the Federal Court of Appeal delivered the Northern Gateway Project another procedural setback in its decision on Gitxaala Nation v Canada (2016 FCA 187). In a 2-to-1 split decision, the court overturned the...more

Canadian Government Seeks Input for Innovation Agenda

In September 2015 a new government was elected in Canada, on a platform of significant change. Its first budget, tabled last March, outlines its plan for implementation of that change. A significant part of the budget –...more

The Great Debate, Part II: Canadian Government Appoints More People to Examine Proposed Trans Mountain Expansion Project

In January 2016, I wrote an article about the commencement of the new federal government’s promised review of its environmental assessment process. Given that the existing process has been an issue that has seriously divided...more

Alberta’s Metis Consultation Framework

On April 4, 2016, the Government of Alberta (“GoA”) released The Government of Alberta’s Policy on Consultation with Metis Settlements on Land and Natural Resource Management, 2015 (the “Policy”) as well as The Government of...more

Bill 186: Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act (Strengthening Retirement Security for Ontarians), 2016, Introduced

On April 14, 2016, the Ontario government introduced the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act (Strengthening Retirement Security for Ontarians), 2016, as Bill 186 (Bill or Act) in the Ontario legislature. The government...more

Alberta's Metis Consultation Policy

Although formally approved by Cabinet in the fall of 2015, The Government of Alberta's Policy on Consultation with Metis Settlements on Land and Natural Resource Management (the Metis Settlements Consultation Policy) came...more

Supreme Court to Hear Appeals on Role of Tribunals in Duty to Consult

The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) has granted leave to appeal in two cases concerning the ability of a regulatory tribunal to discharge the Crown’s duty to consult. In Hamlet of Clyde River v. TGS-NOPEC Geophysical...more

Northern Gateway: British Columbia must Issue its Own Approval and Consult with First Nations

In Coastal First Nations v British Columbia (Environment), 2016 BCSC 34, the Court decided British Columbia must issue its own environmental decision and consult First Nations on the Northern Gateway Project (NGP), instead of...more

Northern Gateway: BC Supreme Court Rules that British Columbia Must Issue its Own EA Decision and Consult First Nations

In Coastal First Nations v British Columbia (Environment), 2016 BCSC 34, the court decided British Columbia must issue its own environmental decision and consult First Nations on the Northern Gateway Project (NGP), instead of...more

B.C. Has Authority to Impose Conditions on Northern Gateway Pipeline

In its recent decision in Coastal First Nations v. British Columbia (Environment), the B.C. Supreme Court (Court) held that the provincial government retains authority to impose conditions on the proposed Northern Gateway...more

First Nations Must Show Specific Impact on Rights to be Entitled to Pursue a Regulatory Appeal

The Alberta Court of Appeal, in O’Chiese First Nation v Alberta Energy Regulator, dismissed two applications by the O’Chiese First Nation seeking permission to appeal decisions by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) approving...more

No Damages for First Nations Blockade - Supreme Court of Canada Denies Leave to Appeal in Moulton Contracting Ltd.

The Supreme Court of Canada recently denied leave to appeal in Moulton Contracting Ltd. v British Columbia, confirming the BC Court of Appeal’s decision (2015 BCCA 89) overturning an award of $1.75 million in damages against...more

SCC Denial of Leave Allows First Nations to Pursue Claims Prior to Proving Aboriginal Title

The Supreme Court of Canada recently denied applications for leave to appeal in Saik’uz First Nation and Stellat’en First Nation v Rio Tinto Alcan Inc., 2015 BCCA 154 (Saik’uz), and Iron Ore Company of Canada. v Uashaunnuat,...more

Can First Nations Claim Aboriginal Rights and Title as well as Treaty Rights?

Yes, said the Court of Appeal for British Columbia (Court) in its recent decision in Chartrand v. British Columbia (Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations). The Court found that the provincial Crown had not adequately...more

Declaration Requirement Removed from First Nation Consultation Procedures

On June 10, 2015, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) released a revised version of the Joint Operating Procedures for First Nations Consultation on Energy Resource Activities (Procedures) and Bulletin 2015-20. While the...more

No Aboriginal Title Required: BC Court of Appeal Allows First Nations’ Civil Claim Against Alcan to Proceed

On Wednesday April 15, 2015, the BC Court of Appeal released its decision in Saik’uz First Nation and Stellat’en First Nation v. Rio Tinto Alcan Inc. In its decision, the court allowed the claims of the plaintiffs Saik’uz...more

Saskatchewan Court of Appeal: No Surface Activity Means No Duty to Consult First Nations

In its recent decision in Buffalo River Dene Nation v. Saskatchewan (Energy and Resources), the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan held that the government was not required to consult the Buffalo River Dene Nation (BRDN) before...more

Court Upholds First Nations’ Right to Bring Claims Based on Interference with Unproven Aboriginal Rights and Title

In its recent decision in Saik’uz First Nation and Stellat’en First Nation v. Rio Tinto Alcan Inc., the Court of Appeal for British Columbia (BCCA) confirmed that First Nations may bring actions against private parties in...more

Doing Business in Canada: Aboriginal Law

ABORIGINAL LAW: Canadian law has long recognized the rights of aboriginal peoples, sometimes called First Nations, as the first occupiers of the land. With the founding of Canada in 1867 constitutional powers were...more

Logging Company Awarded $1.75 million for B.C. Government's Failure to Consult

A recent decision of the B.C. Supreme Court suggests that recovering economic losses caused by blockades or activities that interfere with commercial activities will not be straightforward....more

Alberta's Policy on Consultation with First Nations on Land and Natural Resource Management, 2013

On August 16, 2013, the Government of Alberta ("Alberta") released its Policy on Consultation with First Nations on Natural Resource Management, 2013 (the "Policy"). The Policy is the product of extensive consultation with...more

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