Nisga’a Nation wins case as BC Supreme Court upholds constitutionality of Nisga’a Treaty

Gitlaxt’aamiks, BC, October 19, 2011 – The Nisga’a Nation declared victory today as the Supreme Court of British Columbia handed down its decision upholding the constitutional validity of the Nisga’a Final Agreement.

“The Nisga’a Nation has won another great legal victory” stated Mitchell Stevens, President of the Nisga’a Nation. “We have once again proven that the Nisga’a Treaty is legally valid and operates squarely within the constitutional framework of Canada.”

The BC Supreme Court in its decision concluded that “the plaintiffs’ challenge to the constitutionality of the Treaty fails”.

President Stevens went on to say, “Self-government and law-making powers are at the heart of our Treaty. Our elders have always said that not only must our ownership of Nisga’a lands be recognized, but we must also have the right to make decisions for ourselves on our lands. This is the meaning of self-government - having the right to determine our path towards a better quality of life within Canada. This is the right the Court has re-affirmed today.”

The judgment is in response to a legal action filed by James Robinson and Mercy Thomas challenging the Nisga’a Treaty, in particular the self-government and law-making powers of Nisga’a government.

“Most of all, we are hopeful that this ruling will finally lay to rest these kind of challenges.  It is time to move forward together to continue the work of building a strong and healthy Nisga’a Nation.”

For more information, contact Mitchell Stevens, President of Nisga’a Lisims Government, at (250) 633-3002.

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Judge Smith re Chief Mountain v British Columbia (Attorney General) 10-19.pdf354.81 KB