A lawyer for a Manitoba First Nation says a recent legal victory could have far-reaching implications across Canada.

Norman Boudreau is the lawyer who represented the Norway House Cree Nation Fishing Co-Operative in its fight against the government.

Ten years ago, fishers from the band took the government to court over taxes they were paying on commercial fish caught within the First Nations’ territory.

The fish was bound to be sold to the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation.

However, Boudreau says the court sided with the band — even though the fish could be headed for markets overseas.

He feels this ruling could open the door for other ventures on First Nations, as long as the band shows the business is tied to the reserve:

“You know records have to be kept on-reserve, the operation has to be kept on-reserve, banking has to be kept on-reserve — all those factors have to be maintained.  However, what’s changed now is the fact that (even though) the First Nation has entered into the commercial mainstream, it does not automatically mean the taxation is imposed on them.”

He adds bands will have to tackle the issue on a case-by-case basis.