Ross River Dena Council appealing hunting licences case

RRDC filed its notice of appeal June 25

The Ross River Dena Council is appealing the Yukon Supreme Court’s decision related to its lawsuit against the Yukon government over hunting licences and seals issued for the Ross River area.

RRDC filed its notice of appeal June 25.

It’s the latest chapter in a legal battle that began in 2016, when the RRDC initially took the Yukon government to court. RRDC was seeking a declaration from the Yukon Supreme Court 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.

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

Those consultations have resulted in “significant” accommodation, Veale found, and the parties were also in agreement that the hunting licences and seals “might adversely affect” RRDC’s asserted Aboriginal title.

In its notice of appeal, the RRDC asks for Veale’s decision to be set aside and that two declarations be granted — the declaration about consultation and accommodation, and another stating that the Yukon government failed to consult with and accommodate the RRDC in the 2016/2017, 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 hunting seasons.

The Yukon government has not yet filed a reply.

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