banner_justice.jpg

aboriginal law

What are we going to do about Site C?

15 August, 2016

As the Site C dam project forges ahead, West Coast's RELAW Project Manager Maxine Matilpi considers difficult questions about the future of the Peace River Valley and the Indigenous communities fighting to preserve their territories.

 

 

It's the end of the day and our shared office is hot and stuffy. My colleague on the RELAW project, Georgia, asks with all seriousness, “What are we going to do about Site C?”

Lessons from a summer at West Coast

12 August, 2016

West Coast Environmental Law Association was lucky to have four talented students join us this summer from law schools across the country. As the season winds down, our summer law students share their reflections on an exciting few months learning about the ins and outs of environmental law.

From left to right: Alex Kirby, Sina Kazemi, Monisha Sebastian and Brianna Meyer.

Catching up with science: Salmon biodiversity and Aboriginal fisheries rights in BC

3 August, 2016

At West Coast Environmental Law, we are passionate about collaboration and integrating science with law. When new, ground-breaking studies are published in the scientific world, it presents a unique opportunity to identify the implications this might have on shaping and influencing laws.

A recent study, “Species and population diversity in Pacific salmon fisheries underpin Indigenous food security” published by SFU researchers Holly Nesbitt and Dr. Jonathan Moore, is a fantastic example.

At West Coast Environmental Law, we are passionate about collaboration and integrating science with law. When new, ground-breaking studies are published in the scientific world, it presents a unique opportunity to identify the implications this might have on shaping and influencing laws.

Kinder Morgan’s Salad Days of Summer

12 July, 2016

The warmth and relative freedom of summer creates an atmosphere of spontaneity and often last-minute plans come together: “Let’s drive to that pow-wow this weekend!” “Who wants to go to the beach for a picnic this afternoon?” “Come to the Vancouver Folk Festival and visit our WCEL table!”

Summer 2016 is no different. For those following the fate of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, there are some spontaneous and brief, summer-camp-inspired public meetings coming up. But the season really started when the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) released its much anticipated Enbridge Decision on June 30.  Learn more about the process and pledge to attend the Kinder Morgan tar sands pipelines and tankers summer meetings.

Summer lovin', had me a blaaaaaasst!

Summer can be a time of renewal and relaxation. Kids have a break from school. Teachers get a break from kids. Families go on vacation – camping, fishing and swimming in lakes, rivers or oceans. People test their will against the sun (and the sun always wins).

Revitalizing Indigenous Law for Land, Air and Water: The Cheakamus Retreat

20 June, 2016

The Revitalizing Indigenous Law for Land, Air, and Water (RELAW) Project is a new initiative that aims to deepen First Nations’ capacity to engage in the process of revitalizing, applying and enforcing their own laws to contemporary environmental problems and proactive land and resource decision-making. In this post, Articled Student Lindsay Borrows recounts her powerful learning experiences at the recent 5-day RELAW retreat at the Cheakamus Centre in Squamish Nation Territory.

A meandering stream at the Cheakamus Centre (Photo: Alice William)

Reflections on RELAW: The role of stories in law

17 June, 2016

West Coast is excited to launch the Revitalizing Indigenous Law for Land, Air, and Water (RELAW) project in partnership with the Indigenous Law Research Unit (ILRU) at the University of Victoria. RELAW is a pilot project with the aim of supporting First Nations in their process of revitalizing, applying and enforcing Indigenous laws in relation to a contemporary aspect of environmental governance. In this post, Staff Counsel Georgia Lloyd-Smith reflects on her experience researching Secwepemc law with ILRU and the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council, to provide insight into the work we will be doing in the RELAW project.

West Coast is excited to launch the Revitalizing Indigenous Law for Land, Air, and Water (RELAW) project in partnership with the Indigenous Law Research Unit (ILRU) at the University of Victoria.

Learning from the land: Anishinaabe law camp at Walpole Island First Nation

17 May, 2016

Last month, Staff Counsel Hannah Askew traveled with Anishinaabe scholars John Borrows and Heidi Stark to Walpole Island First Nation in Ontario to assist with, and learn from, a four day Anishinaabe law camp. Hannah recounts the lessons she learned from the camp as well as lessons taught to her by Anishinaabe elders. 

Last month at the invitation of Professor Val Waboose and the Windsor Law Faculty, I traveled with Anishinaabe scholars John Borrows and Heidi Stark to Walpole Island First Nation in Ontario to assist with, and learn from, a four-day Anishinaabe law camp.  The camp was organized in part to fulfil Windsor Law’s commitment to implement Recommendation #28 of the Truth and Reconciliation Report which stat

Field notes from the Treaty 8 Moose Summit

18 April, 2016

In February 2016, West Coast's Hannah Askew attended a Moose Management Summit in Fort St. John, which was held to address Treaty 8 First Nations’ concerns about the state of moose in their territory. The word for moose in Dunne-zah is “Huuda,” which literally translates to “that which keeps us alive.”

In February I attended a Moose Management Summit in Treaty 8 territory at Fort St. John in northeastern BC. The summit was attended by over 100 trappers, hunters, Elders, Chiefs and Councillors, and environmental monitors representing Prophet River, Doig River, Blueberry River, West Moberly, Saulteau, Fort Nelson, and CASCA First Nations. Also present were representatives from the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

Gitanyow Aboriginal Title and Sustainability

15 April, 2016

On April 4, 2016 the Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs filed an amended Notice of Civil Claim in the BC Supreme Court seeking judicial recognition of their title to 6,200 square kilometres of the mid-Nass River and Kitwanga River watersheds in northwestern British Columbia. In this guest blog, Gitanyow Hereditary Chief Glen Williams/Malii and Tara Marsden/Naxginkw explain the significance of this case for the future of wild salmon ecosystems in the region, for their people, and for all Canadians.

Province Can't Pass the Buck on Oil Pipelines: BC Supreme Court

14 January, 2016

West Coast has previously suggested that, in spite of the Province of British Columbia’s “tough talk” on oil pipelines, it has been trying to pass the decision-making buck to the federal government’s National Energy Board (NEB).  A year ago, the Gitga’at First Nation and Coastal First Nations (CFN) sought a court declaration that the provincial government was required to make its own decision about whether to issue a provincial Environmental Assessment (EA) Certificate for the Enbridge Northern Gateway project, and to consult with First Nations before doing so. Now, in a judgment released January 13, the BC Supreme Court found that, although BC’s Environmental Assessment Act provides BC authority to cooperate with the federal government to avoid duplicating EAs, BC must nonetheless make its own decision about issuing an EA Certificate. What what does that mean for Enbridge Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan?

West Coast has previously suggested that, in spite of the Province of British Columbia’s “tough talk” on oil pipelines, it has been trying to pass the decision-making buck to the federal government’s National Energy Board (NEB).

Syndicate content