Testimony Wraps Up at Laviolette Trial

Friday, December 17, 2004 at 15:51



Final arguments in a high-profile Metis hunting case in northwest Saskatchewan will be heard in April.


Testimony wrapped up in the Laviolette trial earlier this week in Meadow Lake.


The case is the first Metis hunting case to be heard in Saskatchewan since the Supreme Court’s Powley decision last year.


For that reason, Metis leader and lawyer Clem Chartier feels it should be a good test of how the rights defined in Powley play out in Saskatchewan, particularly in the North.


The Laviolette case is also testing whether Green Lake can be considered a historic Metis community as defined by the high court’s ruling.


Chartier says he feels there’s a good chance this case will have a favourable outcome for Metis.


The defendant in this case, Ron Laviolette, was charged with fishing out of season in Green Lake in 2001.


Another Metis hunting rights case, the so-called Belhumeur case, will be heard next October in the Qu’Appelle Valley. It’s expected to be a good test case for Metis hunting rights in southern Saskatchewan.