FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 18, 2023
VANCOUVER / xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh & səlilwətaʔɬ territories
BC Supreme Court will hear final arguments tomorrow in Gitxaała Nation’s legal challenge over BC’s “free entry” mineral tenure regime
Gitxaała Nation leaders and representatives will be at the BC Supreme Court this Friday, May 19, for what is expected to be the final day of hearings in the Gitxaała’s ground-breaking legal challenge to BC’s “free entry” mineral tenure regime. Media are encouraged to attend court to hear final arguments by the petitioners. The Gitxaała delegation will gather with supporters and aligned intervenors on the courthouse steps ahead of the court hearing, with a photo opportunity and media availability.
BC Supreme Court hearings have been underway since early April in Gitxaała’s landmark legal challenge against BC’s “free entry” mineral tenure regime, which currently grants mineral claims without Indigenous consultation or consent. This closely-watched case will be one of the first to interpret BC’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA), with BC controversially arguing that DRIPA is not enforceable in court. A related legal challenge by the Ehattesaht First Nation is also being heard at the same time. The judge is expected to reserve judgment after argument concludes tomorrow.
The Law Courts (BC Supreme Court courthouse steps, at the corner of Nelson & Hornby St.) View map
May 19, 2023 at 9:00 am PT (courthouse steps)
Hearing commences at 10:00 am, courtroom TBD
- Gitxaała Sm’ooygit Nees Hiwaas (Matthew Hill)
- Linda Innes, Gitxaała Chief Councillor
- Other representatives of Gitxaała and aligned intervenors (see backgrounder for details)
Heather Johnston, Impact Assessment Officer | Gitxaała Nation
Legal backgrounder (see attached PDF)