Unprecedented Treaty Rights Decision: Cumulative Effects of Industrial Development Breach Treaty Obligations to First Nations

The Supreme Court of British Columbia recently released its decision in Yahey v British
, 2021. This decision is unprecedented because—for the first time—the
cumulative effects of government programs and policies have been found to breach
Crown Treaty obligations to First Nations. In this case, the Court found that the
cumulative effects of provincially authorized industrial development infringed the
Blueberry River First Nations (“BRFN”) Treaty Rights.

At 512 pages, the case is lengthy and considers an extraordinary amount of evidence
including history, ethnography, wildlife science, geography, geology, forestry, land use
planning and various regulatory regimes, and evidence from BRFN members about the
impacts on the exercise of their treaty rights.

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