Historic Victory for Sinixt Hunter Claiming Aboriginal Right to Hunt in Canada
Nelson, B.C. – In a landmark decision, the Provincial Court of British Columbia ruled today that Richard Desautel, a Sinixt descendant resident in the United States, has an aboriginal right to hunt in his traditional territory in Canada.
In 2010, Mr. Desautel was charged with hunting elk as a non-resident, and without a license, near Castlegar, B.C. He is a member of the Lakes or Sinixt tribe of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation in Washington State, and asserted a constitutionally protected right to hunt in Sinixt traditional territory in Canada. Sinixt territory stretches north from the Colville Reservation to the area in and around the Arrow Lakes in British Columbia. Link to decision here: http://canlii.ca/t/h2ss2