The Gitxaala Nation wants the B.C. Supreme Court to overturn mineral claims granted between 2018 and 2020 on Banks Island because it says there was no consultation
If a B.C. Supreme Court judge rules in favour of the First Nation challenging B.C.’s online mining claims program, a lawyer for the provincial government says the court should order the two sides to negotiate a new system.
The Gitxaala Nation, based in Kitkatla, wants the court to overturn mineral claims the province granted between 2018 and 2020 on Banks Island because it says there was no consultation. Gitxaala lawyers say that breached the Crown’s constitutional duty to First Nations and was contrary to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which B.C. adopted in 2019.
Crown lawyer Leah Greathead told Justice Alan Ross during the judicial review hearing on Wednesday that if the court sides with the Gitxaala, it could apply to all First Nations in the province. Although the province wants the petition dismissed, she proposed a remedy.
“We’re asking for 18 months for the province, in consultation and cooperation with Indigenous people, to design a system that meets the province’s consultation obligations, while balancing a wide range of other interests,” Greathead said.
For the rest of this article: https://biv.com/article/2023/04/crown-lawyer-suggests-negotiations-process-if-province-loses-mining-claims