Hupacasath Press Release: Hupacasath Achieve Another Victory in Court!
- From: Judith Sayers [mailto:judith@...]
Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2008 1:09 PM
Subject: Hupacasath Court Victory
Hupacasath First Nation
Ph. (250) 724-4041
Fx. (250) 724-1232
5500 Ahahaswinis Drive
PRESS RELEASE NOVEMBER 4, 2008
Hupacasath Achieve Another Victory in Court!
Today, Justice Lynn Smith gave reasons for judgment in Ke-Kin-Is-Uqs v.
British Columbia (Ministry of Forests). Hupacasath First Nation filed
this case as a result of the Minister of Forests decision in 2004 to
permit the removal of over 70,000 hectares of private land from Tree
Farm Licence 44 without first consulting Hupacasath. In the original
decision the court granted two years for consultation to occur for the
province to address Hupacasath's interests. The parties fell critically
short of reaching an agreement with in the two year consultation period,
and Hupacasath commenced action against the provincial crown for failure
to consult as per the court order.
"The Crown refused to understand the amount of damage they consented to
on the removed lands and how our rights are impacted and to accommodate
our interests to that degree," stated Chief Councillor Judith Sayers on
the reason for action, "The forests are our cathedrals and our interest
is to protect that which most sacred and precious to us."
Justice Smith's decision, states that the Crown did not correctly
understand what was required of them in consultation and misunderstood
its duty to consult and accommodate in this instance; that the crown
conducted its process in an unreasonable manner; that the crown should
have sought ways to meet Hupacasath's interest to continued access to
lands removed from TFL 44, including access to sacred sites, harvesting
of cedar and traditional medicines, and hunting. The Court Order calls
for a mediator to be appointed and the parties have six months to reach
"We are very pleased with the outcome of the court's decision", stated
Chief Councillor, Judith Sayers. "The Crown cannot continue to say there
is no impact to our rights with their decision, the court has been
clear; they must consult and accommodate our interests. "
Chief Councillor Judith Sayers also added that "this is another clear
message to government that they need to change the way they consult and
accommodate First Nations. Failure to consult adequately means investor
uncertainty and the Vision of Recognition and Reconciliation set out in
the New Relationship will never be achieved if consultation cannot be
"Hupacasath has always demonstrated a willingness to engage in
meaningful consultation and we look forward to that now taking place
under the direction and supervision of the court", concluded Chief
For Further Information Contact Judith Sayers at 250 720-9328 or
724-4041 ext. 24 or Judith@....
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