Territorial Growth (Royal Proclamation of 1763)

One of the most famous supreme Court ruling regarding Aboriginal land claim is called Delgamuux.  Gitxsan and Wetsuwetan people asked the court to rule on whether or not they had title to the land.  They feel they do because (1) they have been on the land since time immemorial (2) their culture has laws (ayooks) that show how the land must be used/shared which demonstrates ownership (3) the Royal Proclamation of 1763 says they do (4) the government initially compensated them for lands that were being usurped, and in doing so, tacitly acknowledged Aboriginal titled.  The government says they don’t because (1) they didn’t use it correctly (2) when BC became a colony and Canada became a nation, the intent was that all the land transferred to the Crown so the title was extinguished (3) by moving to reserves, Aboriginals were implicitly forfeiting their title.

Advertisements