Native Legal Win #190

There’s little doubt that the native legal winning-streak will attain # 200 in 2014. Here’s legal win # 190, notable as it’s in Treaty 8, the treaty that hosts the oilsands: Implications for Alberta’s Oilsands (external link).

The oilsands implication is this: the court spends pages reviewing and summarizing Treaty 8 legal precepts (duty to consult, honour of the crown, and key precedents). If just one trapper can generate this much legal vindication, imagine what an entire First Nation can accomplish, or a group of First Nations aligned with eco-activists:

Noted commentator Barbara Yaffe of Vancouver Sun captured this theme with a telling headline: Resource sector about to witness new era of native empowerment.

He compares the litany of aboriginal victories to a popcorn maker: “The rulings came slowly at first; now they’re at full tilt.” Gallagher believes the court cases tell a story of continued ignorance and naiveté on the part of both business and government. “It’s as if the (aboriginal) winning streak has made little or no impact on their thinking, in spite of the fact many resource projects have crashed and burned along the way.”

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