OTTAWA, July 2, 2013 /CNW/ - National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo stated
today that First Nations welcome the B.C. Court of Appeal reaffirming
its earlier major legal ruling recognizing the commercial fishing
rights of Nuu-chah-nulth Nations.
As a lead plaintiff in a legal action on behalf of his home nation
Ahousaht that began 10 years ago, National Chief Atleo commented today:
"Once again the courts have upheld our inherent rights to a commercial
fishery as we the Nuu-chah-nulth have fully demonstrated that both
harvesting and selling fish were and continue to be integral to our
society and economy. Governments must finally get to the negotiating
table as instructed by the Courts to recognize and reconcile our
rights. The Crown's repeated attempts to appeal this case have all
failed - we must end this legal wrangling and delay and get on with the
recognition and implementation of our rights."
For the last decade, the Nuu-chah-nulth have sought legal recognition of
their right to practice their traditional economy, consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. National Chief Atleo applauds the Court's decision and encourages the
Government of Canada to negotiate with the Nuu-chah-nulth in good faith
to quickly implement the decision after 3½ years of stalling.
The court case was first filed in 2003, when the Nuu-chah-nulth Nations
filed a Writ of Summons against Canada and British Columbia. In 2011,
the B.C. Court of Appeals upheld a 2009 decision from the B.C. Supreme
Court finding that the Nuu-chah-nulth Nations have a right to engage in
economic fisheries. In March 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada referred
the case back to the B.C. Court of Appeal in light of the Lax Kw'alaams decision. The B.C. Court of Appeal upheld their previous ruling
reaffirming the rights of the Nuu-chah-nulth to harvest and sell fish.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Comms,
SOURCE: Assembly of First Nations
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