Aboriginal Tribes in Canada wins an historical Landmark Supreme Court case
Canada: native won a historic victory for their rights
Montreal – The Supreme Court of Canada has recognized for the first time Thursday that indigenous aboriginal people had an aboriginal title of occupation and management of a territory of nearly 2,000 km2 in the province of British Columbia
The decision in favor of some 3,000 members of the semi-nomadic First Nation Chilcotin (Tsilhqot’in) may weigh on similar Amerindian outstanding claims and affect many projects exploitation of raw materials (mining, forestry, petroleum, pipelines, etc..) over large swathes of territory.
This Supreme Court ruling could affect the mining rights that Cameco holds in Canada. According to Cameco.com Cameco Corporation is the world’s largest publicly traded uranium company, based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Also Cameco Sk-Canada is the major supplier of Uranium for Nuclear Weapons
In 2012, a Court of Appeal of that province had refused to recognize aboriginal title claimed by the Chilcotin in that territory at the center of British Columbia because they had not proved that the arrival of settlers their European ancestors used a specific tract of land.
The Supreme Court reversed this decision by pointing out that the existence of aboriginal title is not restricted to specific places of establishment but territories used for hunting or fishing, for example, where these people exercised effective control at the time of the assertion of European sovereignty.
The decision brings to an end a legal saga of twenty years which started when the government of the province in 1983 was granted a business license to cut timber on lands Chilcotin considered part of their ancestral territory .
The federal government in Ottawa and the province had contested the claim of title, but on Thursday the Supreme Court held that British Columbia has failed at the time, with its constitutional obligation consultation to the community.
This recognition does not grant provided absolute rights over their ancestral indigenous territory. But the province will not allow economic or other projects without their consent, unless they can demonstrate the existence of a real and compelling public purpose, and consistent way to compensate them.
This decision certainly go down in history as one of the most important and most fundamental judgments ever rendered by the Supreme Court of Canada, said the spokesman for the Assembly of First Nations of Canada, Chief Ghislain Picard , the main organization representing 1.4 million native country.
Source: romandie.com (French)
Translated by Akashma Online News using Google, Bing and
(©AFP / 27 juin 2014 07h09)