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

Just Posted

7th annual Invermere Music Fest

A snapshot of the festival

Elk River reclaims property as its own

Laws make it harder to protect private land than ever before says farmer, local government

Need cash to splash

Radium Sunrise Rotary Club wants to build a splash park in Radium Hot Springs

Kootenay National Park about to turn 100

Ninety-nine years of publicly-accessible wilderness

Water bottling facility proposed in Canal Flats

Source of the Columbia Beverages Inc. promises jobs and financial investment into community

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Speculation tax forces sale of Greater Victoria’s iconic ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

Most Read