The Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs have been successful in protecting our Aboriginal rights and title to the Lax’yip (Territory) by utilizing the Canadian court system and the legal precedence of the BC and Supreme Court of Canada. The following are links to the court cases brought forward by Gitanyow regarding forestry development and consultation.
1999 – Luuxhon v. The Queen
Crowns legal obligation to negotiate in good faith in treaty negotiations with Gitanyow.
2004 – Gwaas Hla’am v. The Queen
(Gwaaslam I)– Ministry of Forests transfer of SCI to BCTS.
2005 – Gwaas Hla’am v. The Queen
(Gwaaslam II) – Ministry of Forests transfer of SCI to BCTS.
2008 – Wii Litsxw v. The Queen
Ministry of Forests Transfer of 6 forestry licenses affecting Gitanyow rights and title.
Gitanyow Aboriginal Title Case
On April 4, 2016 the Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs reinitiated a case to seek a declaration of Aboriginal title for the entire Gitanyow Lax'yip. The pleadings, entitled Malii v. Her Majesty the Queen, were originally filed in 2003 as a protective writ following the Delgamuukw decision, which established that limitation dates applied to the filing of Aboriginal title claims. The case has not been active since, as the Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs have been engaged in developing a Land Use Plan, Reconciliation Agreement, and actively attempting to resolve forestry related matters with the Province of British Columbia. However, the vision and responsibility of the Chiefs to uphold Wilp Sustainability has been met with much opposition through reconciliation efforts. A declaration of Aboriginal title will provide greater ability for Gitanyow to exercise Gwelx'ye'enst and protect the Lax'yip.
Gitanyow Aboriginlal Title Press Release - April 4, 2016
Gitanyow Amended Notice of Claim
Guest Blog: "Gitanyow Aboriginal Title & Sustainability" - for West Coast Environmental Law