First Nation loses final court battle over land rights

The Supreme Court of Canada rejected Tr’ondek Hwech’in’s appeal for a hearing into a land claims disagreement with the territorial…

The Supreme Court of Canada rejected Tr’ondek Hwech’in’s appeal for a hearing into a land claims disagreement with the territorial government.

The Dawson City First Nation has been arguing that several mining claims staked in Tombstone Park, and allowed by the Yukon government, breached the 1998 Tr’ondek land claim agreement.

The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal on Thursday, but did not give a reason for its decision.

It ends a court battle spanning several years.

The Court of Appeal and the Yukon Supreme Court ruled against previous appeals.

The First Nation wants to ban mining in Tombstone Park, part of the traditional territory it controls under its land agreement.

The government says the mines were legally staked before the boundaries of the park were set and cannot be revoked.

Calls to Tr’ondek officials were not returned before press time.

The Tombstone Territorial Park protects more than 2,100-square kilometres of sub-Arctic wilderness.

The 600-member Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nation controls about 2,600 square kilometres of its traditional territory. (JW)


Power outage roundup

An errant vehicle left 1,200 Yukon Electrical Company Ltd. customers without power this morning.

At about 7:30 a.m., a vehicle traveling on Quartz Road struck a guywire, which supports the power pole, shaking the high-voltage lines above and eventually bringing one of them down.

“It was a violent shaking,” said Craig Steinbech, manager of customer services for the electrical company.

Before the power failed, the wires were striking each other, causing the flickering residents may have noticed early this morning.

Heat from the clashing wires caused one of to burn open and fall, causing the blackout.

Half an hour later, all but 250 customers had their power restored. The remaining customers had power shortly after 9 a.m. (JW)

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