Aboriginal Law

Counsel from Hunter Litigation Chambers have been in the forefront of the development of a body of Aboriginal law in British Columbia, representing industry and government in responding to claims of Aboriginal rights and title.

Some of the leading Aboriginal law cases in which counsel from the firm have acted include the following:

Cowichan Tribes v Canada (AG), 2019 BCSC 1243: Counsel from the firm were successful in resisting the admission of two out-of-court statements as trial evidence in a lengthy Aboriginal title action concerning lands in Richmond on the South Arm of the Fraser River.

Cowichan Tribes v. Canada (Attorney General), 2017 BCSC 1575, 1 BCLR (6th) 214: Represented the City of Richmond in an important application in a First Nations land claim, concerning the plaintiffs’ obligation to notify private landowners of their claim.

Ahousaht Indian Band and Nation v. Canada (Attorney General) 2009 BCSC 1494: Our lawyers represented the Province of British Columbia in a lengthy trial to assess an Aboriginal claim to commercial fishing rights and title in the waters off Vancouver Island.

R. v. Marshall; R. v. Bernard, 2005 SCC 43, [2005] 2 S.C.R. 220: we were retained by the Attorney General of British Columbia to present the argument of the Province of British Columbia in the Supreme Court of Canada in this leading case on the scope of Aboriginal title.

Musqueam Indian Band v. City of Richmond2005 BCSC 1069: We represented the B.C. Lottery Corporation in a judicial review proceeding to determine whether the relocation of a casino triggered the obligation to consult the Musqueam Nation.

Haida Nation v. British Columbia (Minister of Forests) and Weyerhaeuser Co. Ltd., 2004 SCC 73, [2004] 3 S.C.R. 511: The firm acted as counsel for Weyerhaeuser in this seminal judgment that decided that the Crown has an obligation to consult and accommodate First Nations' interests before making a decision that might interfere with those interests, but the licensees do not.

Soowahlie Band v. Canada (Attorney General) (2001), 200 F.T.R. 21 (F.T.D.): Our counsel acted for the Attorney General of Canada in successfully opposing an application to enjoin Canada from transferring land claimed by the Sto:lo Nation to third parties.