News & Analysis as of

First Nations

Modern Treaty Rights Prevail Over Duty to Consult First Nations Asserting Aboriginal Rights

What happens when a First Nation asserts aboriginal rights or title that conflict with another First Nation’s rights under a modern treaty? In its recent decision, Gamlaxyeltxw v. British Columbia (Minister of Forests, Lands...more

Positive Action: A New Framework on the Recognition and Implementation of Rights

by Bennett Jones LLP on

On February 14, 2018, the federal government announced a new framework, including new legislation, to recognize and implement Indigenous rights (the “Framework”) in support of its commitment towards reconciliation with...more

B.C. Court Decision Provides Example of the State of Indigenous Law in Canada

Court decisions can often provide learning opportunities — they establish legal principles, apply those principles to certain facts, and illustrate relative trends, or stability, in the law. The recent decision of the B.C....more

British Columbia Supreme Court Orders First Nation to Disclose Impact Benefit Agreements

by Bennett Jones LLP on

The recent decision by the Supreme Court of British Columbia (BCSC) in Yahey v British Columbia (2018 BCSC 123, 25 January 2018) offers interesting insight into the circumstances in which benefit sharing agreements and...more

The maturation of the duty to consult: Top ten developments of 2017 in Canadian Aboriginal law

by Dentons on

2017 in Canadian Aboriginal law proved to be a watershed moment for the Crown’s duty to consult, with the confluence of a number of high-profile appellate decisions—including a new trilogy of consultation cases from the...more

Government of Alberta Announces New Rounds of Renewable Electricity Program

by Bennett Jones LLP on

On February 5, 2018, the Government of Alberta announced information on the second and third rounds of its Renewable Electricity Program (REP)....more

Yukon Must Follow Land Use Planning Process from Umbrella Final Agreement, SCC Rules

On December 1, 2017, in First Nations of Nacho Nyak Dun v. Yukon (Nacho Nyak Dun), the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) overturned a Yukon government decision to open the Peel watershed for development and significantly modify...more

Ktunaxa Nation: The Supreme Court returns to Haida first principles in dismissal of ski hill duty-to-consult case

by Dentons on

The Supreme Court of Canada (the “Court”) has rejected Crown consultation and spiritual-rights challenges brought by the Ktunaxa Nation (the “Ktunaxa”) against a proposed ski resort in B.C.’s Jumbo Valley area following a...more

Supreme Court of Canada clarifies when regulatory bodies may be relied on to fulfill the Crown’s duty to consult Aboriginal...

by Dentons on

As the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) explained in Haida and Carrier Sekani, it is open to legislatures to empower regulatory bodies to play a role in fulfilling the Crown’s duty to consult Aboriginal peoples. Carrier Sekani...more

The National Energy Board's Role in Crown Consultation

by Bennett Jones LLP on

On July 26, 2017, the Supreme Court released two seminal decisions that clarify the role of administrative tribunals, such as the National Energy Board ("NEB"), in fulfilling the Crown’s duty to consult with Indigenous...more

SCC Confirms the Role of Regulatory Tribunals in Aboriginal Consultation

On July 26, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) released two decisions on the role of the National Energy Board (NEB) and other regulatory tribunals in aboriginal consultation: Clyde River (Hamlet) v. Petroleum...more

Ontario Court Overturns Quarry Licence Due to Government Failure to Adequately Consult First Nations

The Ontario Divisional Court (Court) has set aside a quarry licence issued to a private company on the basis that the Ontario government failed to fulfil its constitutional obligation to consult with local First Nations...more

B.C. Court Denies First Nations Injunction Request to Stop Development Pending Resolution of Action

On May 31, 2017, the British Columbia Supreme Court (Court) in Yahey v. British Columbia (Yahey) denied a second injunction application by Blueberry River First Nations (BRFN) to limit future development in certain portions...more

A CEAA change

by Dentons on

The Expert Panel mandated by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to review federal environmental assessment processes has now delivered its report, Building Common Ground: A New Vision for Impact Assessment in...more

Renewal road-maps—and rhetoric? Top ten developments of 2016 in Canadian Aboriginal law

by Dentons on

Opening against newly-elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pledge of a “renewed, nation-to-nation relationship with Aboriginal peoples,” 2016 was a year of great expectations for Canadian Aboriginal law....more

American Indian Tribes and Canadian First Nations: The Impact of Gaming Law and Policy on the Industry

by Snell & Wilmer on

In the United States, Indian gaming is a $29 billion industry, with some 240 American Indian tribes operating more than 450 gaming operations in 28 states. Alan Meister, Casino City’s Indian Gaming Industry Report (2016). In...more

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

by Bennett Jones LLP on

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

by Dickinson Wright on

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

by Dentons on

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

by Bennett Jones LLP on

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

by Bennett Jones LLP on

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

by Bennett Jones LLP on

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

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