Supreme Court of Canada Grants Tsilhqot’in Nation a Declaration of Aboriginal Title

On June 26, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) released its much anticipated decision on Aboriginal title in the Tsilhqot’in case and surprised many by granting the Tsilhqot’in Nation a declaration of Aboriginal title to approximately 200,000 hectares (2,000 km2) of land.

The Tsilhqot’in case is the first case decided by the SCC granting Aboriginal title to an Aboriginal group.  The case is of particular importance to resource-rich British Columbia where much of the provincially-owned land is subject to asserted, and often competing, claims to Aboriginal title and where many First Nations have not entered into treaties resolving their land claims with Canada.

This post will summarize the SCC’s ruling regarding the test for Aboriginal title, the nature of Aboriginal title, and the power of government to justifiably infringe on established Aboriginal title.  Future posts will address the applicability of provincial and federal laws to lands held under Aboriginal title.

To read more, click here.



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