Richard Desautel (centre) was originally charged under the Wildlife Act with hunting without a licence and hunting big game while not a resident of B.C. after he shot and killed an elk near Castlegar in 2010. (Bill Metcalfe/Black Press Media)

B.C.’s top court upholds Sinixt rights in elk-hunting case

Richard Desautel was originally charged under the Wildlife Act with hunting without a licence

The British Columbia Court of Appeal has upheld an American Indigenous man’s rights to hunt in Canada because his ancestors traditionally did so.

Richard Desautel was originally charged under the Wildlife Act with hunting without a licence and hunting big game while not a resident of B.C. after he shot and killed an elk near Castlegar in 2010.

READ MORE: B.C. appeals Sinixt hunting case again

Desautel, a member of the Lakes Tribe in Washington state, argued in provincial court that he was exercising his constitutional right to hunt for ceremonial purposes.

The Lakes Tribe was described in court as a “successor group” to the Sinixt people, who lived, hunted and gathered in B.C.’s Kootenay region prior to first contact with European settlers.

The B.C. Supreme Court confirmed his right in 2017 and the Appeal Court re-affirmed it in a ruling released today.

In dismissing the Crown’s appeal, Justice Daphne Smith says hunting in what is now British Columbia was a central and significant part of the Sinixt’s distinctive culture before European contact and remains integral to the Lakes Tribe.

The Canadian Press

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

Boundary non-profits now eligible for emergency funds

Local charities can apply to get grants from the $40,000 pot, managed by the Phoenix Foundation

Drive-in theatre proposed for Grand Forks

City councillors will vote next month on whether to permit the use of the private property

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Snow expected to hit West Kootenay passes overnight on Thursday

Up to 15 cm of snow could fall on Highway 3 between Paulson summit to Kootenay Pass by Friday morning

Six homes ordered to evacuate early Tuesday morning in Grand Forks due to flooding

Two of the six were put on evacuation alert Monday evening

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

Restorative pole project underway in Edgewood

The pole was made almost 50 years ago to pay respect to local First Nations

Most Read