The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations is celebrating the Supreme Court’s dismissal of a case against a First Nations man charged with harvesting moose on private land.
Kristjan Pierone is a Treaty 5 hunter from Manitoba.
While hunting near Swift Current, he shot and killed a bull moose in a slough about 70 kilometres off the roadway on private land.
Pierone did not have the owner’s consent to hunt on the land but it was not posted and had not been cultivated for a number of years.
FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron says the Supreme Court’s decision is an affirmation that inherent treaty rights are above provincial law.
“Our initial thoughts were one of feeling we knew all along, for many, many decades, for many centuries since time immemorial that our inherent and treaty rights are of international law and they do trump provincial law,” he says.
The provincial Crown had appealed an earlier decision on the case.
The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal and awarded Pierone costs.
The provincial government is currently examining changes to the Trespass to Property Act that could make it more difficult for hunters to access private land, even if it is not posted.