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Sat Jun 28, 2014, 05:13 AM

Canada’s aboriginals win historic victory for ancestral rights over their land

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/06/27/canadas-aboriginals-win-historic-victory-for-ancestral-rights-over-their-land/



Canada’s aboriginals win historic victory for ancestral rights over their land
By Agence France-Presse
Friday, June 27, 2014 9:25 EDT

Canada’s Supreme Court recognized native groups’ rights over a large swathe of land for the first time Thursday in western British Columbia province.

The landmark ruling in favor of the semi-nomadic Tsilhqot’in people — numbering about 3,000 — could have an impact on similar Native American claims currently pending in court, as well as on impact on mining, forestry and other projects exploiting raw materials across vast portions of Canada.

In 2012, a British Columbia appeals court had refused to recognize the Tsilhqot’in people’s ancestral rights over the land in center of the province, saying that they needed to identify the “specific sites” their ancestors had used when the Europeans arrived, rather than lay claim to the broad area.

The Supreme Court tossed that decision out, stressing that “occupation sufficient to ground Aboriginal title is not confined to specific sites of settlement but extends to tracts of land that were regularly used for hunting, fishing or otherwise exploiting resources and over which the group exercised effective control at the time of assertion of European sovereignty.”

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