British Columbia Files Second Appeal Of Washington Man’s Tribal Sovereignty Case

File photo of the roof of the British Columbia Parliament Buildings in Victoria, BC.File photo of the roof of the British Columbia Parliament Buildings in Victoria, BC.
File photo of the roof of the British Columbia Parliament Buildings in Victoria, BC. CREDIT: RYAN BUSHBY / WIKIMEDIA - TINYURL.COM/Y7Z4WO2W

Listen

British Columbia is taking the next step in a decade-long battle over native tribal rights. The province has filed paperwork to appeal a decision that granted Washington state tribal members rights to their ancestral lands in Canada.

In 2009, Rick Desautel was charged for hunting without a permit and as a non-resident in British Columbia. He is one of roughly 4,000 Sinixt tribal members on the Colville reservation in northeastern Washington.

Sinixt traditional lands extend from the reservation north into British Columbia. Canada deemed the tribe ‘extinct’ in 1956.

But Desautel says he has a right to hunt on his ancestral lands and a trial court and the Supreme Court of British Columbia agreed last year. But the Provincial government has filed an application to appeal the case for a second time.

In an email, a spokeswoman for the province’s Prosecution Service, explained that the appeal application will be considered within 60 days. A justice of the court of appeal will decide if a full appeal should be heard.

In a statement, Michael Marchand, chairman of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation said he was not surprised by this latest move to appeal. He also expressed confidence.

“We are certain we will win in the end, wherever this case leads,” Marchand said. “It is a simple fact that the Sinixt people exist, both in Canada and on the Colville Reservation.”

Related Stories:

Mariel Triggs, chief executive of MuralNet, tests broadband internet equipment in Fort Washakie on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming. CREDIT: Patrick Lawson via AP

Window Opens For Tribes To Seek Federal Licenses For Rural Broadband Access

The Federal Communications Commission opened a window Monday for federally recognized tribes to apply for licenses that could help establish or expand internet access on their lands. The FCC estimates that about one-third of people living on tribal lands don’t have access to high-speed internet, but others say the figure is twice as high. Continue Reading Window Opens For Tribes To Seek Federal Licenses For Rural Broadband Access

Read More »