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First Nations
Supreme Court upholds Native fishery in Canada


A Native-only fishery in British Columbia does not violate the constitution, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Friday.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans set up the fishery on the Fraser River for the Musqueam, Burrard and Tsawwassen First Nations. The decision drew protests from non-Natives, who were arrested for fishing during the Native-only fishery.

The non-Natives won a decision before a provincial court but the B.C. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the fishery in June 2006. The B.C. Court of Appeal affirmed.

The B.C. Fisheries Survival Coalition appealed to Canada's highest court, which ruled that the Native-only fishery does not create any special aboriginal rights.

Get the Story:
Exclusive aboriginal fishery in B.C. not a charter violation: top court (CBC 6/27)

Supreme Court of Canada Decision:
R. v. Kapp (June 27, 2008)

Related Stories:
Appeals court rules in favor of Native-only fishery (6/9)
Column: Tensions rising over First Nations fishery (06/07)
Report suggests drop in salmon due to Native fishing (03/23)
Non-Natives to challenge First Nation fishery (11/10)
Native-only fishery in British Columbia to resume (07/27)
British Columbia court upholds Native-only fishery (07/13)