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May 12, 2015

BC Court of Appeal: First Nations can bring tort claims for harm to asserted rights

On April 15, 2015 the British Columbia Court of Appeal (“BCCA”) released Saik’uz First Nation v Rio Tinto Alcan Inc. (“Saik’uz”)

This decision holds significant implications for First Nations communities that assert constitutionally protected Aboriginal rights and title that have not yet been proven in court, recognized by treaty, or acknowledged by the Crown. The Court in Saik’uz holds that a First Nations claim in nuisance against a private party for harm to asserted Aboriginal rights and title should not be struck out as disclosing no reasonable cause of action.

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