American hunter Richard Desautel (centre) is seen here outside a courthouse in Nelson after his first legal victory in 2017. The provincial Crown has asked for leave to appeal Desautel’s case to the Supreme Court of Canada. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Canada’s top court asked to hear appeal of American Indigenous man’s hunting rights

Defendent Richard Desautel has already won three court challenges

The B.C. government has requested leave to appeal Richard Desautel’s historic hunting case to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Desautel, the American hunter who shot and killed an elk near Castlegar in 2010, was originally found not guilty of hunting without a licence and hunting without being a resident in a Nelson provincial court in March 2017.

Judge Lisa Mrozinski ruled at the time that Desautel had ancestral hunting rights as a Sinixt despite the First Nation being ruled extinct by the federal government in 1956. The Sinixt traditional territory included the Arrow Lakes in the Kootenays and extended from present-day Kettle Falls in Washington state to north of Revelstoke.

That decision was upheld by the Supreme Court of B.C. in December 2017 and again by the B.C. Court of Appeal last May.

On July 30, the Crown sent a memorandum of argument to the Supreme Court of Canada that requests leave to appeal.

“The guidance of this court in addressing whether Indigenous communities outside Canada may hold Aboriginal rights within Canada and ancillary issues arising therefrom is of national importance and raises issues that have never been wholly addressed by this court,” concludes the memorandum.

The next step will be for the Supreme Court to decide if it wants to hear the case. There’s no deadline for that decision to be made.



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Kelowna secondary basketballer nominated for Canada-wide All Canadian Games

KSS’s Rylee Semeniuk is one of 152 players nominated

‘It’s still early’: Flu rates down so far this year at Interior Health

At Kelowna General Hosptial, there have been about 50 confirmed cases

Warriors introduce new leadership core, look for bounce back after Friday loss

West Kelowna’s three-game winning streak ended Friday with a 6-3 loss

One-woman comedy show coming to Kelowna next week

Cree actress Michelle Thrush will be performing at Rotary Centre on Jan. 24 and 25

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

Update: Collision halts highway traffic west of Revelstoke

Drive BC also reported a vehicle incident 10 km east of Golden.

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

Priest Camp near Summerland was created in 1845

Agreement formed between Grand Chief Nicola (1793-1859) and Father Giovanni Nobili (1812-1856)

‘Extensive’ work planned at Big Bar landslide ahead of salmon, steelhead migration

Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan visited the site of the slide from June

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Royal deal clears way for Harry, Meghan part-time Canada move: experts

Keith Roy of the Monarchist League of Canada said the deal is exactly what Harry and Meghan asked for

Most Read