LETTER: Supreme Court of Canada should hear Sinixt hunting case

From reader Ken Wylie

Re: “Government’s appeal in Sinixt case dumbfounding,” Oct. 31

I have been following the progression of the R. vs. Desautel case through the trial and appellate courts.

It’s important to understand that the Crown is almost obliged to have this issue settled once and for all. In other words the real issue is whether these people’s rights can now be asserted by non-resident “foreign” residents (i.e. citizens of the United States) such as to allow them to assert aboriginal title that would bring them within the B.C. treaty negotiation process.

There is no question that the Sinixt people have occupied the Arrow Lakes and Lower Columbia River in Canada for thousands of years. The declaration that the Sinixt were or are extinct is a legal myth, one which has been disproved and properly rejected, in fact and in law. (I always suspected that the Declaration of Extinction made in the 1950s was somehow associated with the Columbia River Treaty negotiations, but concede that’s speculation.)

The issue is not whether these people are “extinct,” which clearly they are not, but whether they are now able to assert claims to ancestral rights and title and, if so, how they will come within this negotiation process.

I believe is is therefore necessary to have this issue adjudicated upon and addressed by the Supreme Court of Canada. This in my view is but another step in the long journey towards truth and reconciliation of the shocking colonialism and treatment of the aboriginal ancestors of this land.

Ken Wylie


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

Just Posted

West Kootenay snowpack nearing record levels

High snowpack can mean a greater risk of flooding in spring, say forecasters

Whitewater offering ski program for people with cognitive impairments

Discounted tickets for skiers and chaperones, as well as lessons, are available

Breanna Faulkner, Kootenay Swim Club win at Kelowna Snowfest

Faulker won four medals, including two gold

Calendars for a cause: Linocut calendars raise funds for Kalein Centre

The last few calendars and cards are available at Cowan’s Office Supplies and Zinnia Textiles

VIDEO: Kootenay Patricks, Montreal Canadiens play to the crowd in Nelson

The charity game was a spectacle from puck drop

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

Most Read