Coast Salish Territory (West Vancouver) — The First Nations Summit is pleased with today’s Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decision in R v. Kapp where the Court has indicated that the federal Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy is not a race based fishery and is constitutional.

“The SCC clearly recognizes that the purpose of the communal fishery licenses provided to First Nation communities by DFO are to provide “economic opportunities through sale or trade” and that the government’s aim was to address the indisputable “disadvantage of aboriginal people … rooted in history (and which continues today)”, said Grand Chief Edward John of the First Nations Summit political executive.

“This is a compelling case for the government to renew this program. Previously, DFO immediately cancelled the “pilot sales” program following a provincial court decision. We welcome the SCC decision that ‘ameliorative programs targeting a disadvantaged group do not constitute discrimination’. Once and for all the weak and racist notion of a race-based fishery advanced by the commercial sector has clearly and undoubtedly been rejected,” added Chief John.