New hearing ordered for 1915 Williams Lake First Nation land dispute
Williams Lake Courthouse -File photo (MyCaribooNow.com staff)
The Federal Court of Canada has ordered a tribunal hearing in regards to a 1915 sale of land involving the Williams Lake First Nation.
The Williams Lake First Nation seeks to set aside the September 14, 2018 decision of the Specific Claims Tribunal (SCT) in Williams Lake Indian Band v. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada as represented by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. In that decision, the SCT determined the Band’s specific claim was unfounded as the Band failed to establish the lands in issue had been wrongfully transferred, or that Canada had breached fiduciary duties owed to the band.
The specific claim centres on the 1914-1915 sale to the Pacific Great Eastern Railway Company of 4.37 acres of a much larger parcel of land which had been set aside for the band.
A three-judge panel unanimously voted to set aside the SCT’s 2018 decision, and remit the Williams Lake First Nation’s specific claim to the Tribunal for redetermination.