Richard Desautel (centre) was originally charged under the Wildlife Act with hunting without a licence and hunting big game while not a resident of B.C. after he shot and killed an elk near Castlegar in 2010. (Bill Metcalfe/Black Press Media)

B.C.’s top court upholds Sinixt rights in elk-hunting case

Richard Desautel was originally charged under the Wildlife Act with hunting without a licence

The British Columbia Court of Appeal has upheld an American Indigenous man’s rights to hunt in Canada because his ancestors traditionally did so.

Richard Desautel was originally charged under the Wildlife Act with hunting without a licence and hunting big game while not a resident of B.C. after he shot and killed an elk near Castlegar in 2010.

READ MORE: B.C. appeals Sinixt hunting case again

Desautel, a member of the Lakes Tribe in Washington state, argued in provincial court that he was exercising his constitutional right to hunt for ceremonial purposes.

The Lakes Tribe was described in court as a “successor group” to the Sinixt people, who lived, hunted and gathered in B.C.’s Kootenay region prior to first contact with European settlers.

The B.C. Supreme Court confirmed his right in 2017 and the Appeal Court re-affirmed it in a ruling released today.

In dismissing the Crown’s appeal, Justice Daphne Smith says hunting in what is now British Columbia was a central and significant part of the Sinixt’s distinctive culture before European contact and remains integral to the Lakes Tribe.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Four members of Nelson and District Women’s Centre board resign

Centre is closed during COVID-19 and is currently hiring an executive director

Reflecting on former Kootenay MLA Ed Conroy’s legacy

Former BC cabinet minister and Kootenay MLA Ed Conroy passed away June 26

Civic Theatre gets $2.7 million to add two more screens

The grant will allow two small theatres to be built in the back of the current auditorium

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

B.C. homeowners plead for action on condo insurance crisis

Strata property fees growing bigger than mortgage payments

Indigenous man behind complaint of BC Transplant’s alcohol abstinence policy has died

David Dennis, who is Nuu-chah-nulth, argued that six-month sobriety policy is a ‘lethal form of racism’

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Urge travellers to follow COVID-19 rules in a ‘gentle way’: B.C.’s top doctor

Cases surging in the U.S. have B.C. officials hoping the border stays shut all summer

96-year-old woman scales B.C. butte with help of family, friends

‘I did as I was told and I enjoyed every minute of it’

Parallel crises: How COVID-19 exacerbated B.C.’s drug overdose emergency

Part 1: Officials say isolation, toxic drug supply, CERB, contributing to crisis

Canadians with disabilities disproportionately hit by COVID-19 pandemic

More than four out of 10 British Columbians aged 70 and up have various disabilities

Most Read