American hunter Richard Desautel (centre) is seen here outside a courthouse in Nelson after his first legal victory in 2017. The provincial Crown has asked for leave to appeal Desautel’s case to the Supreme Court of Canada. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Canada’s top court asked to hear appeal of American Indigenous man’s hunting rights

Defendent Richard Desautel has already won three court challenges

The B.C. government has requested leave to appeal Richard Desautel’s historic hunting case to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Desautel, the American hunter who shot and killed an elk near Castlegar in 2010, was originally found not guilty of hunting without a licence and hunting without being a resident in a Nelson provincial court in March 2017.

Judge Lisa Mrozinski ruled at the time that Desautel had ancestral hunting rights as a Sinixt despite the First Nation being ruled extinct by the federal government in 1956. The Sinixt traditional territory included the Arrow Lakes in the Kootenays and extended from present-day Kettle Falls in Washington state to north of Revelstoke.

That decision was upheld by the Supreme Court of B.C. in December 2017 and again by the B.C. Court of Appeal last May.

On July 30, the Crown sent a memorandum of argument to the Supreme Court of Canada that requests leave to appeal.

“The guidance of this court in addressing whether Indigenous communities outside Canada may hold Aboriginal rights within Canada and ancillary issues arising therefrom is of national importance and raises issues that have never been wholly addressed by this court,” concludes the memorandum.

The next step will be for the Supreme Court to decide if it wants to hear the case. There’s no deadline for that decision to be made.



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Province, feds, Wet’suwet’en announce progress in MOU talks

External community engagement process launched to help implement Wet’suwet’en rights and title

Route announced for the Great Regional Air Hug of 2020

Aircraft will be departing from the Vanderhoof Municipal Airport at 12 p.m. on Aug. 15

“Let’s break the silence because we can”

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s awareness walk held Saturday in Fort St. James

Brucejack mine fatality identified

Patrick Critch was from Newfoundland

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Most Read