indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
First Nations from British Columbia win major land title decision

Filed Under: Canada | Law
More on: british columbia, energy
     


Fish Lake in British Columbia, part of the aboriginal territory of the Tsilhqot’in Nation. Photo from Protect Fish Lake

The highest court in Canada issued a landmark decision today, recognizing Native title in British Columbia and defining what it means.

The Tsilhqot’in Nation, a coalition of First Nations, laid claim to about 656 square miles in the western region of the province. The Supreme Court of Canada affirmed their title to the land and said they have a right to use, enjoy and profit from it.

"In simple terms, the title holders have the right to the benefits associated with the land — to use it, enjoy it and profit from its economic development," the decision stated. "As such, the Crown does not retain a beneficial interest in Aboriginal title land."

The decision does not mean the First Nations outright own the land. But the court said the Canadian government must obtain their consent before allowing development.

"The right to control the land conferred by Aboriginal title means that governments and others seeking to use the land must obtain the consent of the Aboriginal title holders," the decision stated.

In the event consent is not granted, the court said development can only proceed under Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Specifically, the court said the following conditions must be met:
  1. the government must discharge its procedural duty to consult and accommodate;
  2. the government must show how its actions are backed by a compelling and substantial objective; and
  3. the governmental must show how its actions are consistent with the Crown’s fiduciary obligation to the First Nations

"We all heard the decision at the same moment, and the room just erupted in cheers and tears. Everybody is absolutely jubilant. It's very emotional," Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs told CBC News, describing the scene in a Vancouver office where Native leaders gathered to await the decision.

The ruling gives First Nations in B.C. even more leverage over the potential construction of the $7.9 billion Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline that crosses their aboriginal territories.

Get the Story:
Tsilhqot'in First Nation granted B.C. title claim in Supreme Court ruling (CBC 6/26)
‘Tears and cheers’ greet historic Supreme Court ruling handing Tsilhqot’in major victory (APTN 6/26)
Supreme Court expands land-title rights in unanimous ruling (The Globe and Mail 6/26)
Supreme Court’s land-rights ruling could imperil Northern Gateway pipeline (The Globe and Mail 6/26)

Decision from the Supreme Court of Canada:
Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia (June 26, 2014)

Related Stories:
First Nations prepared for battle over pipeline through territory (06/18)


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
High court pick acknowledges poor treatment of 'sovereign' tribes (3/22)
Dakota Access submits another status update entirely under seal (3/22)
Court allows claim for alleged underpayment in Cobell settlement (3/22)
South Dakota tribes continue to extend Class III gaming compacts (3/22)
Cowlitz Tribe secures approval to offer liquor as casino debut nears (3/22)
Native Sun News Today: Community project continues at Pine Ridge (3/22)
Cronkite News: Copper mine on sacred site complains about delays (3/22)
Mary Annette Pember: Awareness for missing and murdered sisters (3/22)
Stacy Pratt: Visiting the gravesite of Andrew Jackson in Tennessee (3/22)
Murder charge filed for fatal shooting of Navajo Nation police officer (3/22)
Muckleshoot Tribe still seeking answers for fatal shooting by officer (3/22)
Hopland Band submits claim for county raid of marijuana operation (3/22)
Chukchansi Tribe sued for $21M by gaming development company (3/22)
Seminole Tribe accused of breaking contract with outlet at casino (3/22)
Indian Child Welfare Act survives attack from conservative groups (3/21)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs schedules hearing on diabetes (3/21)
Ponca Tribe hosts 282-mile walk to retrace trail of forced removal (3/21)
National Indian Gaming Association honors Native casting director (3/21)
Native Sun News Today: Whiteclay liquor sales up for review again (3/21)
James Giago Davies: It's time to take a trip to the Great Upstairs (3/21)
Smith and Wakefield: Obamacare repeal is bad for Indian Country (3/21)
Steve Russell: Domestic status of Indian nations invented in 1831 (3/21)
Steven Newcomb: Pope Francis must address domination legacy (3/21)
Tulalip Tribes install 1st leadership board with women in majority (3/21)
Osage Nation passes referendum to legalize same-sex marriage (3/21)
Mishewal Wappo Tribe returns to court to seek federal recognition (3/21)
Lawmakers pushing for federal recognition of six tribes in Virginia (3/21)
Cowlitz Tribe casino seen as impacting lottery revenues in Oregon (3/21)
Mohegan Tribe announces plan for $80M casino convention center (3/21)
North Dakota Republican keeps pushing bill for non-Indian casinos (3/21)
Supreme Court nominee fares well in review of Indian law record (3/20)
Dakota Access won't reveal latest status of pipeline to the public (3/20)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe sees another Dakota Access setback (3/20)
Hopi Tribe and Native activists lose cases over aging power plant (3/20)
Supreme Court considers petition in tribal land-into-trust dispute (3/20)
Oneida Nation prevails as Supreme Court declines immunity case (3/20)
Tim Giago: Indian Health Service fails to abide by treaty obligation (3/20)
Native Sun News Today: Oglala Sioux Tribe battles uranium mining (3/20)
Mary Annette Pember: It's sugar bush time across Ojibwe country (3/20)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.