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Court recognizes Native American hunting rights in Canada

COLVILLE, Wash. – The Supreme Court of British Columbia has upheld a Washington state man’s right to hunt in the province by recognizing the traditional hunting grounds of his ancestors.

The Northwest News Network reports the court last week ruled in favor of Richard Desautel, a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes and a descendant of the Sinixt people.

Desautel had crossed into Canada to shoot and kill an elk in 2010, and Canadian authorities had charged him with hunting without a license.

Desautel claimed the hunt was legal because it was on the traditional hunting grounds.

Authorities argued the hunting rights ended when the Sinixt were declared extinct in Canada.

A lower court sided with Desautel in March 2017, acquitting him of the charges after a nearly yearlong trial.


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