Today is the anniversary of a landmark legal case that changed the face of Indigenous land and title rights in Canada.
It was 20 years ago that the Supreme Court of Canada issued its ruling on the Delgamuukw-Gisdaywa case which confirmed that Aboriginal title as an ancestral right protected by the Constitution.
The case also affirmed the legal validity of oral history and provided clarification on the government’s duty to consult with Indigenous peoples.
A feast to celebrate the milestone was held in the Wet’suwet’en community of Hagwilget Saturday. The feast featured a number of central figures in the case, including Earl Muldoe (Delgamuukw) and Fred Tom (Gisdaywa).
The Delgamuukw decision, as it came to be known, played a major role in a number of other Indigenous rights and title cases, including the landmark Tsilhqot’in ruling of 2014.