The Yukon Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal from Ross River Dena Council over its lawsuit against the Yukon government over hunting licences and seals issued for the Ross River area. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Court turns down RRDC’s hunting consultation appeal

Court turns down RRDC’s hunting consultation appeal

The Yukon Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal from Ross River Dena Council over its lawsuit against the Yukon government over hunting licences and seals issued for the Ross River area.

The court issued a unanimous decision on April 30.

The RRDC took the Yukon government to court in 2016 seeking a declaration that the Yukon government had a duty to consult with and accommodate it before issuing hunting licences and seals in the Ross River area, among other things.

Yukon Supreme Court Justice Ron Veale declined to issue any declarations in a May 2019 decision, finding that the Yukon government was already in “extensive” and “deep” consultations with RRDC on wildlife matters.

RRDC filed an appeal in June that year, arguing Veale erred by “improperly focussing on wildlife matters rather than the use and occupation of RRDC’s claimed lands by hunters who are issued licences, and by finding that the incidents of Aboriginal title do not apply to asserted claims,” the Court of Appeal decision says

The court, however, dismissed RRDC’s appeal, saying that the First Nation “does not have established title and, therefore, does not presently have the right to exclusive use and occupation of the claimed lands,” and “did not identify any adverse effect on its claim other than impacts on wildlife.”

(Jackie Hong)

Yukon courts

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