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Membertou marks groundbreaking 1985 treaty rights victory – The Chronicle Herald

by pmnationtalk on December 4, 2015480 Views

December 3, 2015

MEMBERTOU — For the Mi’kmaq people, it is a groundbreaking decision because for the first time, after years of denial, Canada’s courts had recognized their treaty.

Thirty years have passed since the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling on the historic Simon case.

At the heart of the decision was a young man named James Matthew Simon, a hunter from the Mi’kmaq community of Indian Brook who was charged with being in possession of a shotgun and shell during a closed hunting season, a violation of the provincial Lands and Forest Act.

Simon was acquitted after arguing that he had the right under the Treaty of 1752 to the free liberty of hunting and fishing.

In rendering the 1985 decision, the court held that the Mi’kmaq treaty protected hunting rights, at least on reserve lands.

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