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B.C. appeals ruling recognizing Colville Tribes’ right to hunt in Canada

British Columbia’s government has appealed a provincial court ruling recognizing the right of a Colville Tribes’ member to hunt on ancestral lands in Canada.

The case involved Rick Desautel, a member of the tribe’s Lakes band, also known as Sinixt. Members of the band lived along the Columbia River, as far north as Canada’s Arrow Lakes’ region.

In 2010, Desautel was charged with hunting elk as a non-Canadian resident, and hunting without a license.

In last month’s ruling, a provincial court judge affirmed Desautel’s right to hunt on ancestral lands in Canada.

The appeal was filed in Tuesday in British Columbia’s Supreme Court. It said the judge erred in finding that Sinixt people living in the U.S. can exercise Canadian aboriginal rights.

A hearing on the appeal is expected to take place in fall.

Michael Marchand, chairman of the Colville Tribes, said British Columbia’s appeal was expected.

“The Colville Tribes is absolutely committed to restore the rights of the Sinixt people,” he said in a statement. “We’re prepared to fight for them for as long as it takes to win.”


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