Northern Chief Blasts Treaty 8 Tax Ruling

Thursday, June 12, 2003 at 13:15




The chief of one of the northern Saskatchewan bands affected by yesterday’s Treaty 8 tax ruling says he’s disappointed, but not surprised by the decision.


Clearwater River Dene Nation chief Roy Cheecham also agrees with several others in the native community that this ruling needs to be appealed to the Supreme Court.


But Cheecham wonders if First Nations can win at that level if the courts insist on weighing the consequences to the non-Aboriginal population in their rulings on native issues.


One of the reasons the Federal Court of Appeal overturned the original court ruling was because it felt the judge didn’t adequately consider — quote — “the gravity of the consequences” of granting total tax immunity to status Indians.


Cheecham feels the court has no business dealing with the possible consequences of a decision, and should simply address the issue of rights.


Cheecham says he will be meeting with the band’s lawyers later today to plot their next move.