Vaughn Palmer: ‘Large chunks’ of B.C. Crown land could end up in hands of Indigenous Nations
Opinion: Aboriginal title over large tracts of 95 per cent of B.C. that’s now referred to as Crown land would entail “huge transfer of wealth.”
The B.C. government should prepare the public for the coming “big shock” when “fairly large chunks” of provincial Crown land are recognized as actually owned and controlled by Indigenous Nations.
So says Jack Woodward, the lawyer who won the case that resulted in the first declaration of Aboriginal title in B.C. and who is taking another title case to court next year.
“Much of the Crown land in B.C. isn’t Crown land — it is owned by Indigenous people,” says Woodward, drawing on his reading of history, constitutional law and the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decision in the Tsilhqot’in title case in 2014.
“Over the next generation we’re going to see a replacement of ownership of large parts of the province. It is going to be a big shock and a big change and a big adjustment for the system to get used to.
“There’s going to be a different landlord — not for the entire province … but fairly large chunks of it.”
Woodward laid out his assessment of the shape of things to come for Crown land and Aboriginal title in an hour-long presentation last month organized by The Campbell River Mirror. Woodward, who is based in Campbell River, has posted the entire presentation on his Facebook page.
Read the entire article on the Vancouver Sun website by clicking here.
You can also watch the hour-long presentation organized by The Campbell River Mirror by clicking here.