Peskotomuhkati Chief Hugh Akagi is seen in an undated handout photo. A recent Supreme Court decision about Indigenous rights on the west coast may have implications for First Nations groups who straddle the Maine - New Brunswick border on the east coast. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Cynthia Howland, *MANDATORY CREDIT*

Peskotomuhkati Chief Hugh Akagi is seen in an undated handout photo. A recent Supreme Court decision about Indigenous rights on the west coast may have implications for First Nations groups who straddle the Maine - New Brunswick border on the east coast. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Cynthia Howland, *MANDATORY CREDIT*

Court decision on rights on the west coast may affect Indigenous people in the east

The chief said negotiations need to address issues such as those surrounding Canada’s fisheries

A recent Supreme Court decision about Indigenous hunting rights on the west coast may have implications for First Nations groups who straddle the Maine – New Brunswick border on the opposite side of the country.

The April 23 decision stated an American Indigenous man has a constitutionally protected right to hunt in British Columbia given his people’s historic ties to the region.

Richard Lee Desautel, a U.S. citizen, was charged with hunting without a licence after shooting an elk near Castlegar, B.C., but defended his actions on the basis he had an Aboriginal right to hunt protected by section 35 of Canada’s Constitution Act.

Now members of the Peskotomuhkati Nation, with communities in New Brunswick and Maine, assert their citizens have the same rights that they expect the federal government to honour.

“We know who we are and I really did not need a Supreme Court to tell me who I am or who my people are,” Peskotomuhkati Chief Hugh Akagi said in an interview Saturday.

The chief said negotiations need to address issues such as those surrounding Canada’s fisheries.

“It’s going to come down to some common sense. It’s going to come down to justice for our people. It’s going to come down to respect for treaties,” he said. “That’s the relationship I’m looking for.”

Lawyer Paul Williams, who is negotiating for the Peskotomuhkati, said the court decision is clear.

“It’s one nation, everybody is related, and now the Supreme Court has said it’s one nation for the purpose of Canadian Constitutional recognition and protection as well,” he said.

“We’re going to have to work together quickly and decisively to set up recognition of the entire nation’s fisheries, but at the same time a conservation regime that takes precedence over any commercial rights or food rights.”

Both Williams and Akagi say a deal was reached three years ago that allows band members from Maine to hunt moose in New Brunswick. They said they believe it can be a template for other agreements.

“Let’s take something successful like this moose hunt and build on it,” Akagi said.

Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press

huntingIndigenous

Just Posted

NIC’s new president Lisa Domae assumed the role of president on April 12. Domae has worked at NIC since 2000, most recently as the executive vice president, academic and chief operating officer. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
New North Island College president launches draft strategic plan

Lisa Domae assumed the role of president on April 12, 2021

More “strings of lights” were seen on May 15, 2021, in night sky over Vancouver Island. (File photo)
Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of homicide in Port Alberni

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Nathan Zuk had left his mother’s residence in Whaletown on Cortes Island in mid-December 2020 in a 14’ skiff rowboat and headed to an unknown location near the Pryce Channel, Deer passage, or Toba Inlet. Photo courtesy RCMP
RCMP need help finding man who set off from Cortes Island in 14-foot rowboat

Nathan Zuk left in December, may have been last seen in Toba Inlet approximately three weeks ago

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
Royal Bay pride crosswalk restored following graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Colwood high school

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Emergency service workers at the collision scene along Highway 4 in Hilliers on Sunday, May 16. A motorcyclist was airlifted to hospital by BC Air Ambulance and later died. (Collin C photo)
UPDATE: Motorcyclist dies from injuries sustained in Mid-Island highway collision

BC Highway Patrol says impairment not a contributing factor in crash

(PQB News file photo)
RCMP on the hunt for serial Rathtrevor Beach flasher

Two separate incidents noted at provincial park on April 30 and May 14

Residents living in the 41-unit King George Apartments on Fifth Avenue and Argyle Street in Port Alberni will be able to remain there after the Canadian Mental Health Association and Province of B.C. partnered to purchase the building in May 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Province steps in to secure housing for Alberni apartment tenants

CHMA receives $3-million grant to help purchase building near city hall

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Campbell River RCMP. RCMP photo
Two knife incidents reported on same day in Campbell River

Stabbing and knife fight both occured on May 13

Most Read