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Home / News / Williams Lake Indian Band preparing to go to Supreme Court of Canada

Williams Lake Indian Band preparing to go to Supreme Court of Canada

The Williams Lake Indian Band is appealing a Federal Court of Appeal decision.

The band is applying for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, arguing the court of appeal didn’t have the proper Aboriginal law or land claims expertise to overturn a Specific Claims Tribunal ruling.

Ann Louie, Chief of the band says this is an important case that will clarify the powers of the courts and the tribunal.

At the end of February, the appeal court overturned a decision from the tribunal in favour of the Williams Lake Indian Band.

The tribunal had ruled the Colony of British Columbia had failed in its fiduciary duty to protect the land from colonists.

In an unusual move, the appeal court rather than provide a judicial review, decided to overturn the tribunal ruling and dismissed the case.

The Specific Claims Tribunals were set up in 2008 to provide a separate track for First Nations to seek monetary claims.

Louie says the new Trudeau government has dropped appeals initiated by the former Harper government.

She says she believes the Trudeau government will initiate positive changes for First Nations in Canada.

The Williams Lake Indian Band has until April 29th for submissions, with a decision on whether the court will hear the case coming about six months later.

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