British Columbia

B.C. First Nation wins right to its own commercial fishery

A group of West Coast First Nations has won the right to harvest and sell fish commercially after a 12-year court battle.

Canada given 1 year to sort out details that would allow Nuu-chah-nulth to harvest and sell fish commercially

The B.C. Supreme Court has given Canada one year to establish a commercial fishery for the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation. (CBC Indigenous)

A group of West Coast First Nations has won the right to harvest and sell fish commercially after a 12-year court battle.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Mary Humphries has ruled Fisheries and Oceans Canada has one year to establish a commercial fishery for the five First Nations collectivelly known as the Nuu-chah-nulth.

However, Nuu-chah-nulth president Judith Sayers said that if the government is serious about implementing their rights, it should let the bands begin fishing immediately.

In the 400-page judgment, Humphries set out the parameters for the Indigenous fisheries involving species, including a variety of salmon, groundfish, crab, prawn and shellfish.

Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc said in a statement that he has directed his ministry to take immediate steps and review the Pacific salmon allocation policy, while collaborating with First Nations groups and stakeholders on new policy.

Gord Johns, a Vancouver Island member of Parliament, said he'll be in Ottawa next week to remind the government of its obligation.

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