Hereditary chiefs lose court argument against B.C. Treaty Commission

Gitxsan hereditary chiefs, along with the Gitanmaax Indian Band, Glen Vowell Indian Band, Gitwangak Indian Band, Kispiox Indian Band and Gitksan Local Services Society, have lost in a decision in the Supreme Court against the B.C. Treaty Commission.

  • Aug. 1, 2011 1:00 p.m.

Gitxsan hereditary chiefs, along with the Gitanmaax Indian Band, Glen Vowell Indian Band, Gitwangak Indian Band, Kispiox Indian Band and Gitksan Local Services Society, have lost in a decision in the Supreme Court against the B.C. Treaty Commission.

In a judgement dated July 26, the Honourable Mr. Justice Kelleher explained his position regarding the application.

While the plaintiffs’ have claims against the Gitxsan Treaty Society (GTS) and the governments, this particular application argued that the British Columbia Treaty Commission has acted negligently as they owe a duty of care to the plaintiffs to oversee the negotiation process and ensure that the negotiators have a proper mandate.

As explained by Kelleher, the Commission’s function is to receive statements of intent to negotiate from First Nations, allocate treaty negotiation funds to First Nations, assess the readiness of parties to commence negotiating a framework agreement, and assist the negotiating parties to reach an agreement.

“The plaintiffs’ case is that the Commission breached its duty of care by failing to meet the standard of care required by a reasonable and prudent facilitator of the treaty process,” said Kelleher. “Including failing to ensure that the GTS has a valid mandate and is representative and accountable to the Gitxsan people.”

The argument comes from the fact that various Gitxsan people have told the Commission that the GTS does not represent them.

However the Justice found that the plaintiffs’ argument would “turn the role of the Commission somewhat on its head.”

“The Commission is required to respect the self-governance of the First Nation at the treaty table,” he said. “I am not persuaded that the Commission has a duty to involve itself in the governance of a First Nation by acting to protect the interests of a minority group within the Nation.”

He said the Commission is intended to be an impartial and arms-length body that cannot be involved in the internal structure and processes of the Gitxsan Nation.

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

Just Posted

Rio Tinto responds to U.S. aluminum import tariffs

The tariffs were imposed by President Donald Trump Aug. 6

Coastal GasLink breaks ground on meter station in Kitimat

Meter station marks final point on pipeline that stretches from Northeast B.C.

Mayoral nominations open Sept. 1

Deputy Mayor Gladys Atrill confirms she will be running for the top job

Brucejack mine fatality identified

Patrick Critch was from Newfoundland

Friendship Centre optimistic MMIWG mural will be painted this year

Following trauma-informed healing workshops, project is now in the design phase

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Most Read