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Hupacasath Press Release: Hupacasath Achieve Another Victory in Court!

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  • Don Bain
    From: Judith Sayers [mailto:judith@hupacasath.ca] Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2008 1:09 PM Subject: Hupacasath Court Victory Hupacasath First Nation Ph. (250)
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 4, 2008
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      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


      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
      done properly."

      "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
      Councillor Sayers.

      For Further Information Contact Judith Sayers at 250 720-9328 or
      724-4041 ext. 24 or Judith@....

      Decision attached.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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