In Canada’s Supreme Court yesterday, the Lax Kw’alaams First Nations (located near Prince Rupert) started a declaration for their rights to commercially fish. A historical reliance upon fish and trading of fish oil has been common practice for centuries among the members of the group. They argue this should give them the constitutional right to commercially harvest today. They are seeking the right to fish salmon, halibut, herring and other ocean species along the north coast.
This case, started five years ago when the Lax Kw’alaams sued the Federal Government in BC’s Supreme Court. At the time, the judge ruled the case “simplistic” and the case was dismissed.
The federal government maintains that the aboriginal right to fish for food, social and ceremonial purposes does not extend to the right to sell fish. [Read full article].