Canada | Law

First Nations in British Columbia stake claim to ancestral land

A building at the former Riverview Hospital in Coquitlam, British Columbia. The land is being claimed by the Kwikwetlem First Nation. Photo from Greg Salter / Wikipedia

First Nations in British Columbia are moving quickly to assert their rights in the wake of a landmark decision from the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Gitxsan First Nation has issued eviction notices to CN Rail, logging companies and sport fishermen. The notices say the entities are using aboriginal land without the band's consent.

The Gitxaala First Nation is planning to file a lawsuit that challenges the government's approval of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline. The project crosses the band's traditional lands.

The Kwikwetlem First Nation is claiming land in the Vancouver area that includes the Riverview Lands. The band said its goal was to take ownership of the property.

On June 26, the Supreme Court issued a decision to recognize Native title of theTsilhqot’in Nation. The ruling said First Nations have a right to use, enjoy and profit from their ancestral lands.

Get the Story:
Gitxsan First Nation evicting rail, logging, fishing interests (CP 7/10)
Gitxsan to CN, loggers, fishermen: you’re trespassing (Business Vancouver 7/11)
Treaty vs. title: First Nations' new Tsilhqot'in choice (CBC 7/8)

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

Related Stories:
Column: Native title decision poses major test for government (7/2)
First Nations from British Columbia win major land title decision (06/26)
First Nations prepared for battle over pipeline through territory (06/18)

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