Supreme Court won't hear Sask. government's appeal in Indigenous hunting rights case

The Supreme Court has said it won't hear a case involving an Indigenous hunter and questions around his ability to hunt on unmarked, privately owned lands.

FSIN says decision confirms what they've known for decades

Kristjan Pierone, an Indigenous hunter from Manitoba, shot and killed a moose near Swift Current one day before moose hunting season started in 2015. He argued the land appeared to be unused, and as a status Indian he thought he was exercising his treaty right to hunt. (CBC)

The Supreme Court has said it won't hear a case involving an Indigenous hunter and questions around his ability to hunt on unmarked, privately owned lands.

In 2015, Kristjan Pierone, an Indigenous hunter from Manitoba, shot and killed a moose at the bottom of a dry slough near Swift Current one day before moose hunting season started.

Pierone did not have a licence to hunt moose and did not have permission from the landowner to do so. However, he argued the land appeared to be unused and as a status Indian he thought he was exercising his treaty right to hunt.  

He was charged with unlawful hunting. The charge was initially dismissed, but was reinstated by a Court of Queen's Bench judge after an appeal. It was later dismissed again by Saskatchewan's Court of Appeal.

The government appealed again, this time to the Supreme Court. On Nov. 8 the Supreme Court chose not to hear that appeal.

FSIN lauds decision

Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) Chief Bobby Cameron said the case confirms something the organization knew all along.

"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," Cameron said. "We never had any doubt [it would be thrown out]."

Cameron said the FSIN will continue to stand with treaty hunters and grassroots people in the future.

"We will go the distance for our inherent and treaty rights," Cameron said.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story included a headline that said the Supreme Court had dismissed the province's appeal. In fact, the court chose not to hear the appeal.
    Nov 10, 2018 9:27 AM CT
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