The Council of Canadians applauds today’s decision by the Supreme Court of Canada to grant title to the Tsilhqot’in First Nation over its traditional territory. The Council of Canadians and its Williams Lake chapter were interveners at the Supreme Court in support of the Tsilhqot’in claim.
The Council’s submission argued that “meaningful recognition and affirmation of aboriginal rights and title in Canada is fundamental to improving social justice for Canada’s aboriginal peoples.”
The Supreme Court also found that the province of British Columbia had breached its duty to consult the Tsilhqot’in people about proposed commercial logging in their lands.
“We support Indigenous peoples’ right to free, prior and informed consent,” says Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “They are the rightful stewards of their lands, and should be the ones to decide if and how they are developed.”
She adds, “The Council of Canadians is proud of our work supporting this milestone for the rights of Indigenous people. At last, this is sign that there is no blank cheque for the Northern Gateway project. ”