After a nearly 11 year legal battle the Supreme Court of Canada protected the rights of an American indigenous man to hunt north of the border in his nation’s ancestral territory. The decision granted the Sinixt Nation constitutionally protected rights in Canada. The nation had been previously declared “extinct” by the federal government under the Indian Act in 1956 before parts of its land were flooded following the negotiation of the Columbia River Treaty.

The supreme court decision has the potential to affirm hunting rights in Canada for tens of thousands of indigenous peoples living in the US dispossessed of traditional territories by the international border drawn on the 49th parallel some 200 years ago.

The decision also raises questions about whether groups currently residing south of the border need to be consulted on questions of resource extraction in their traditional territory north of the border.

The Sinixt traditional territory stretched from the desert in Eastern Washington to the rainforest north of Revelstoke.

The Sinixt Nation’s lawyer Mark Underhill stopped by Kootenay Morning on April 26 to fill KCR in.

Have a listen to the entire interview here: