Southern Alberta’s Blood Tribe, the nation’s largest reserve, has gained allotment of its 40-year land suppose battle against the federal authorities.
On Wednesday, a Federal Court docket capture ruled in favour of the Blood Tribe, discovering that Canada shortchanged the band when the boundaries were drawn as allotment of 1877’s Treaty 7.
The reserve stretches 1,400 sq. kilometres across the southwestern Alberta prairie, from west of Lethbridge and south to Cardston.
Justice Russel Zinn even handed proof alongside side century-frail authorities experiences and maps, handwritten letters and oral historical past from Indigenous elders. In 2016, Half 1 of the trial began on the Blood Reserve with elders giving an oral historical past of the First Nation.
Even supposing Zinn ruled the Blood Tribe may per chance per chance also peaceful were extra than 160 sq. miles elevated than its most modern size, he denied the band’s hiss to have its boundaries embody particular land “between the rivers to the mountains.”
That territory would have included everything from the St. Mary River in the east the total methodology to the Waterton River in the west, and south to the U.S. border.
Lawyers for the First Nation also argued town of Cardston and allotment of Waterton Lakes National Park may per chance per chance also peaceful be included in its territory, but that allotment of the suppose became rejected by Zinn.
Zinn did gain that the band didn’t uncover all of the land promised by Canada, which neatly-liked a formula to calculate how grand territory it can per chance also peaceful uncover per population. The capture stumbled on the Blood Tribe had a higher population than what the authorities suggested and became entitled to extra land as a result.
In a 205-page written resolution, Zinn ruled Canada became in breach of Treaty 7 and that the Blood Tribe became entitled to 710 sq. miles of land. The reserve is currently 547.5 sq. miles
“Canada is inclined to the Blood Tribe for this breach of treaty,” wrote Zinn.
A separate hearing will now be scheduled to address compensation for the First Nation.
The authorities has 30 days to charm the resolution on what’s change into identified as the Substantial Land Claim to the Federal Court docket of Enchantment and will win the case to the Supreme Court docket of Canada.
The manager and councillors for the Blood Tribe stated in an announcement that they are hopeful the authorities will now not charm.
“The Blood Tribe trusts that given the historical past of the Substantial Claim … that Canada will now not be appealing this recent judgment and that there will be finality to this long prominent treaty responsibility.”