Supreme Court of Canada nixes Nuuchahnulth fisheries decision review

The Supreme Court of Canada won’t review a B.C. court ruling allowing members of five NCN nations to sell fish caught in their territories.

The Supreme Court of Canada says it won't review a landmark Nuuchahnulth fisheries ruling allowing members of five West Coast tribes the right to catch and sell fish in their territories.

The Supreme Court of Canada won’t review a landmark B.C. court ruling that recognizes members of five First Nations rights to make a living selling the fish they catch in their traditional territories.

The announcement was made on the court’s “Dismissed with Costs” judgements section of its website on Tuesday.

In May 2011, the three-member judges panel unanimously upheld the 2009 B.C. Supreme Court decision that recognized that the Nuu-chah-nulth “…have aboriginal rights to fish for any species of fish within their Fishing Territories … and to sell that fish”, the judgment noted.

The courts did not extend the aboriginal right to the modern geoduck fishery, which it called “high tech”.  “There can be no viable suggestion that the ancestors of the respondents could have participated in the commercial harvesting and trading of this particular marine resource at some time before contact…” the judgment showed.

The courts further decreed that the Nuu-chah-nulth and Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada have one year to negotiate and agreement that conforms to the decision.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

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