Cowichan Nation Alliance Successful in Important Aboriginal Title Decision
September 11th, 2017

Rosenberg Kosakoski LLP is proud to represent, in concert with Woodward & Company LLP, the Cowichan Nation Alliance in the First Nation’s quest for a declaration of Aboriginal title. In September, 2017, the Cowichan Nation Alliance recent resisted an application by Canada and the City of Richmond for an order that the First Nation provide mandatory notice to holders of fee simple within the title claim area. This is the first opportunity the British Columbia Supreme Court has had to squarely address this interesting issue. In siding with the Cowichan Nation Alliance, the Court said as follows:

In this regard, one of Canada’s central arguments is that the uncertainty in the case law in and of itself should cause the court to order notice. I have determined that the counter argument is more persuasive — uncertainty in the case law weighs against court ordered notice. As the plaintiffs do not seek, at this stage, to invalidate fee simple interests held by private landowners, I conclude that the defendant Canada’s application should be dismissed. Private landowners will have an opportunity to make all arguments, including that they were not given formal notice, in any subsequent proceedings against them if any such proceedings are brought.

The decision can be found here.