Authority of governments over Indigenous hunting and fishing questioned at North Bay trial

54 people from around Lake Nipissing are on trial for hunting and fishing violations

A trial underway this week could have far reaching implications for the Indigenous people of northern Ontario and across Canada.

The defence is arguing that no governments, not even First Nation chiefs and councils, can legally control hunting and fishing around Lake Nipissing.

There are 54 people on trial in a virtual courtroom based in North Bay, charged with violating Ontario’s hunting and fishing laws, as well as the commercial fishing laws of Nipissing First Nation.

They all admit to doing what they’re accused of.

But their lawyer Michael Swinwood argued the governments laying those charges have no authority to do so.

He said the Robinson Huron Treaty of 1850 was signed by Potawatomi people from the United States who didn’t actually represent the Indigenous communities of Lake Nipissing.

“We intend to show that there is no such thing as an Indian. It doesn’t exist,” Swinwood told the court Monday.

By Eric White CBC News
REad More Here: www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/nipissing-first-nation-commercial-fishing-hunting-rights-court-case-1.5877306

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