Nisga’a Nation will Continue to Defend Nisga’a Treaty
VANCOUVER, Oct. 9 – Nelson Leeson, President of the Nisga’a Nation, reacted to today’s ruling of the British Columbia Court of Appeal, which overturned the dismissal of litigation challenging the Nisga’a Treaty brought by a small group of Nisga’a citizens, by expressing the resolve of the Nisga’a Nation to defend the Treaty.
The case had been dismissed in 2005 by the British Columbia Supreme Court because the plaintiffs had failed to comply with orders of the Court in respect of pre-trial procedures.Today’s ruling does not address the substance of the Nisga’a Treaty, but merely makes it possible for the plaintiffs to resume their challenge in the British Columbia Supreme Court.
“We are fully prepared to defend the constitutionality of our Treaty, as we have previously done, and we are confident that the Nisga’a Treaty will withstand this legal challenge. At the same time we would rather get on with living our lives under the Treaty than continue with lengthy and expensive litigation”, said President Leeson.
Contrary to statements made by the plaintiffs, under the Nisga’a Treaty every Nisga’a person has the right to be a Nisga’a citizen.
The Nisga’a Treaty remains fully in force, and the Nisga’a Nation as well as the federal and provincial governments will defend the validity of the Treaty when the litigation resumes in the British Columbia Supreme Court.
For further information: Nelson Leeson, President of the Nisga’a Nation, (250) 633-3002; Les Clayton, Director of Communications and Intergovernmental Relations of Nisga’a Lisims Government, (250) 633-3007