After 12 years in the courts, Nuu-chah-nulth are once again celebrating a victory over Canada when it comes to Aboriginal fishing rights.
Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations had successfully argued for many years for their right to sell fish and seafoods harvested within their traditional territories.
The courts agreed, and upheld multiple challenges launched against them by the federal government.
This latest trial was launched after First Nations complained that Fisheries and Oceans Canada failed to implement the previous court decisions, and Ahousaht spokesman Cliff Atleo says the judge agreed.
B-C Supreme Court Justice Mary Humphries has ruled DFO has one year to establish a commercial fishery for the five Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations involved in the legal battle.
Humphries’ 400-page judgement sets out the parameters for the Indigenous fisheries, which will harvest a variety of salmon, groundfish, crab, prawn and shellfish.
The five Nuu-chah-nulth Nations involved in the case have been battling through the courts for 12 years, and the federal government has spent more than $19 million fighting them every step of the way.
Courtenay – Alberni MP Gord Johns has repeatedly told the Liberal Government to stop fighting legal battles launched by the former Harper Government and begin working with the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations.