“Welcome to Colonial Courtrooms,” should have been the title of the Supreme Court of Canada’s landmark aboriginal rights judgment.
While B.C. natives were busy last week celebrating the court’s affirmation of their “aboriginal title,” they should have paid closer attention to the fine print. In spite of all the hand-wringing about threats to resource development and the land mass of B.C., this is a big victory for governments. In the unanimous 8-0 decision, which dismissed with nary a nod the last half century of strident native assertions of sovereignty, the high court said B.C. natives are not unlike any other litigant squatter.
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