Dillon To Host Gathering Of Native Rights Experts

Thursday, March 16, 2006 at 13:27



The Buffalo River Dene Nation will be home to a gathering of legal experts and international officials at the end of the month.


From March 30th to April 2nd, approximately 60 visitors are expected to meet with the chief and council to discuss the band’s legal action against the Canadian government.


In September 1994, two local hunters were arrested and charged for hunting in the Primrose Lake Air Weapons Range.


A lower court judge agreed with the hunters that the area was in the band’s traditional territory and that they should be allowed to hunt there on the basis of treaty rights. But an appeal court judge later sided with the government.


The Supreme Court refused to hear the case, prompting the band to turn to the United Nations’ Human Rights Committee for international assistance.


Band member Adelard Blackmon says they are trying to have charges laid against Canada for violating their human rights, and he believes that could happen as early as next year.


The First Nation recently informed the provincial government it intends to take them to court, too.


The band has also passed a band council resolution stating industrial corporations must consult them before operating on their traditional lands.