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Gitxaala First Nation in B.C. goes to court over automatic mineral rights

A two-week court hearing begins today at the B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver
Boats in the Gitxaala village of Kitkatla in June, 2022. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

A British Columbia First Nation that launched a legal challenge over an online registry the province uses to automatically grant mineral rights is in court today.

The Gitxaala Nation filed a petition in October 2021 seeking a judicial review, arguing the process doesn’t require the government to consult with the First Nation and simply grants the claim.

The two-week court hearing begins today at the B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver.

Gitxaała Nation leaders are holding a news conference before the proceedings begin, which will be followed by a procession to the courthouse.

Gitxaala Chief Councillor Linda Innes has previously argued the claims process violates the government’s constitutional obligation to consult with Indigenous nations.

The petition asks the courts to quash seven mineral claims on Banks Island, south of Prince Rupert, and for the court to suspend claim staking in Gitxaała territory.

READ MORE: Emotional return of house post connecting B.C.’s Gitxaala Nation to their ancestors