Ruling on land rights has value for First Nations in Saskatchewan, FSIN says
The historic Supreme Court of Canada decision on aboriginal land rights is being viewed as a valuable precedent by Perry Bellegarde, chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations.
Bellegarde said Thursday that the decision bolsters the FSIN position regarding such issues as resource revenue.
"We've always said we should mutually benefit from the land and resources," Bellegarde said. "With this decision, it will breathe more life into that concept of resource revenue sharing."
The ruling specifically supported a claim by the Tsilhqot'in Nation to more than 1,700 square kilometres of land in B.C.
Experts on First Nations treaties note that the application of the ruling will be limited in places like Saskatchewan.
"Saskatchewan mostly doesn't have a lot of Aboriginal title claims because a lot has been settled through treaties," Dwight Newman, a law professor at the University of Saskatchewan explained. He added the ruling could affect aboriginal communities that are not covered by treaties.