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Gamlaxyeltxw v British Columbia (Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations) 2018 BCSC 440 – Case Summary

This case involves an issue that is being litigated for the first time in Canadian courts.  In the decision, Justice Sharma of the British Columbia Supreme Court was asked to address how to resolve a potential conflict between two constitutional duties: the Crown’s duty to an Aboriginal people with whom it has entered into a […]

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Ktunaxa Nation v British Columbia (Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations), 2017 SCC 54 – Case Summary

In Ktunaxa Nation v. British Columbia (Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations), 2017 SCC 54, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC” or the “Court”) decided that Qat’muk, a place of spiritual significance for the Ktunaxa Nation (the “Ktunaxa”), was not protected by the s. 2(a) Charter right to freedom of religion. With this decision, […]

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Clyde River (Hamlet) v Petroleum Geo‑Services Inc., 2017 SCC 40 and Chippewas of the Thames First Nation v Enbridge Pipelines Inc., 2017 SCC 41 – Case Summaries

On July 26, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) released its decisions in two cases: Clyde River (Hamlet) v. Petroleum Geo‑Services Inc. and Chippewas of the Thames First Nation v. Enbridge Pipelines Inc.  In these cases Indigenous Nations argued that the Crown had breached its duty to consult when the National Energy Board (“NEB”) […]

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Gitxaala Nation v Canada, 2016 FCA 187 – Case Summary

On June 30, 2016 the Federal Court of Appeal (“FCA”) released its decision to overturn Canada’s approval of the Northern Gateway Pipelines Project (the “Project”). In the decision, the FCA agreed with what First Nations had been saying all along and found that Canada’s approval of the Project could not stand as Canada had failed […]

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Coastal First Nations v. British Columbia (Environment) 2016 BCSC 34 – Case Summary

On January 13, 2016, the British Columbia Supreme Court (“Court”) released its reasons in the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline (“Project”) case.¹  In her decision, Madam Justice Koenigsberg found that a portion of an Equivalency Agreement (“Agreement”)² entered into between the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (“EAO”) and the National Energy Board (“NEB”) was invalid to the […]

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Update on Recent Caselaw

This legal update, presented on September 28, 2015 to the Annual General Assembly of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, provides a round-up of some of the cases that have been decided in the last few months, and the trends these cases reveal. I.             Consultation Ktunaxa Nation v British Columbia (Forests, Lands and Natural Resource […]

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Chartrand v. British Columbia (Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations), 2015 BCCA 345 – Case Summary

In a decision that provides welcome clarity on the Crown’s obligation to consult and set the proper stage for meaningful consultation to take place, the BC Court of Appeal overturned the decision of the BC Supreme Court, finding that the Province breached its duty to consult with the Kwakiutl First Nation (“KFN”) regarding the decisions […]

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Squamish Nation v. British Columbia (Community, Sport and Cultural Development), 2014 BCSC 991 – Case Summary

On June 4, 2014 the British Columbia Supreme Court (the “Court”) released its decision in the Squamish Nation case. In this case the Squamish Nation and Lil’wat Nation (the “Nations”) challenged the Province’s decision to approve the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s (the “Municipality”) 2011 Official Community Plan (the “Plan”). The Nations argued that the Plan […]

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Moulton Contracting Ltd v. British Columbia, 2013 BCSC 2348 – Case Summary

On December 23, 2013, the British Columbia Supreme Court (“BCSC”) released its decision in the Moulton Contracting Ltd. (“Moulton”) case.  The case arose as a result of a blockade erected within Treaty 8 territory by members of the Behn family who are members of Fort Nelson First Nation (“FNFN”).  The blockade prevented Moulton from accessing […]

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