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Chilcotin Court Case In the News

From the Victoria Times Colonist and noted by the Indigenous Intellectual Property Rights (Yahoo) Group

Coverage of the the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation (Nemiah Band of the Ts’ilquot’in/Chilcotin people) land claims case has (finally) appeared. The land title case pits the Xeni Gwet’in against the province of British Columbia over ownership of parts of the Nemiah Valley region or west central B.C. The case has roots back to 1989 and a decision will not likely come before 2006.

The case is noteworthy for several reasons and many are noted in the article. It is described as the first test of aboriginal title rights since the Delgamuukw Decision in 1997 (Supreme Court of Canada).

Also, the article hints that trapping rights may be used to trump logging rights in court by virtue of the fact that trapline licences predate logging licences. This is interesting ‘turn-about’ for trapline registration was one of the early ways of asserting provincial control over lands and resources and now, according to the article, may be used to assert aboriginal rights.

I am watching this case as closely as I can and will continue to report on it when news is available.

Note: The article gives a lengthy timeline of the events associated with the ‘Chilcotin War’ (1864-65). (See also Canadian Mysteries presentation of the history of the Chilcotin War.)

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