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Local chief responds to Supreme Court ruling on Aboriginal title

The Supreme Court of Canada has granted land title of 1,700 square kilometers of land to the interior’s Tsilhqot’in.

Local Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief Namoks says he is still looking at the full ruling but says so far it appears much more in depth than he had anticipated and he hopes it will pave the way for future land negotiations.

“It is my hope. But it seems like any time we go into any form of negotiation it always leads to court. Then in court they will pick and choose which (cases) they will refer to. But overall, this will be popular with First nations.”

The courts ruled that the Nation has the right to use and profit from the land but stated that development can occur on the land without consent if it is significantly in the public interest.

Namoks says the issue there is who and how to quantify the impacts to the land and people.

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