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Bands pleased with Supreme Court ruling

Chief Nelson Leon - File photo
Chief Nelson Leon
— image credit: File photo

The Supreme Court of Canada has officially declared the aboriginal title for the Tsilhqot’in Nation, and Chiefs of the Neskonlith and Adams Lake Band welcomed the decision – the first of its kind in Canada.

The unanimous decision was made on June 26, and extends the Tsilhqot’in First Nation title to an 1,750 square-kilometre area outside of the current reserve, which means that they have been granted control over what development occurs in the newly mapped area.

The decision also allows the nation to go forward with making decisions about the area’s forests and resolve the long running Jules and Wilson litigation.

“Canada and BC must acknowledge that our Peoples, our Title and our laws exist. Our people have lived in poverty of long enough,” said Chief Judy Wilson of the Neskonlith Indian Band. This country, this province, have been build on our peoples’ poverty. BC’s laws must change and we are ready and willing to work to make the necessary changes.”

Chief Nelson Leon of Adams Lake Indian Ban says that the band is looking forward to the changes.

“We look forward to working with governments and industry to define this new way forward,” said Leon. “We will be inviting the public to join us and build a better future which has place for us, our laws, and for our grandchildren together.”

 

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