As we all know, native land rights have consistently been echoed from different perspectives. Under section 35(1) of the state Constitution, Act of 1982, there is recognition of the prevailing aboriginal as well as treaty rights regarding Aboriginal people living in Canada. Furthermore, extensive sections of land in British Columbia (BC) belong to the native Indian tribes which were traditionally under the jurisdiction of the individual nations. I stand firmly that the Aboriginal communities are entitled to the ownership of land as much as other persons in the BC region. In recent occasions, the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the Aboriginal communities land ownership. In a 2014 ruling made by the highest court in the land, it was indicated that the natives still retained ownership of their ancestral lands except in the occasion that they had signed it off to the government.
Furthermore, Aboriginal communities must be allowed rights to own land because the constitution has enabled them to do so. As a fact, back in 1986, the federal government effected various land policies that gave the first nations the rights and privileges to own land. These systems saw the overturn of the initial policies that had been put in place that permitted the government to infringe on the existing rights of the Aboriginal persons. Therefore, I believe that rather than trying to overlook such statutes, it is just and right to allow the first nations to continue enjoying their land privileges with minimal disruptions. Therefore, those who may be of the idea that natives do not have supportive rights and claims of land ownership.
As I stand here to represent the indigenous individuals of Belcarra village, I am also inclined to point out that there is need to allow the natives to continue exercising their rights without being diffused. More often than not, the indigenous persons in B.C have found themselves in courtrooms simply because they own land or control natural resources within their borders. It is only right that people respect these individuals because a majority of them have also assimilated the modern way of life. While some critics may suggest that the natives showcase hostility towards the others, I would like to present this statement as both untrue and built on an unfounded basis. The resistance that these persons put up is caused by the consistent disruption of their peace by the other non-natives who believe that these individuals do not have the rights to own property. However, the cases of resistance were bottled-up by the implementation of the Act of 1982 which gave land ownership privileges to the native communities.
As reported by the CBC News (2013), back in 1997, the Canadian Supreme Court presided over the Delgamuukw vs. British Columbia case. In the rulings provided by the court, the aboriginals were granted the rights to own land and further gave them the rights to extract any resources from it. This case has been a significant precedent that other courts have depended upon in passing their judgment. Furthermore, CBC News (2013) reported that the tribunal also ruled that the federal administration had to consult with the aboriginal communities in matters regarding the Crown land. In extreme cases, the government was mandated to compensate the individuals in case they infringed on their property. Therefore, those who still have the perception that the Crown land is still reserved for the government should eliminate such thoughts.
The fact that Belcarra village does not host many individuals is also not reason enough to force the natives in reserved settlement and take away their land. I firmly believe that as long as these people hold their rights to the land, it is enough proof and justify their rights to own the vast acres of land. Furthermore, there is no constitutional limitation on how much an individual may own regarding the size of land. Therefore, I shall gather all the title deeds held by these people and present them before this court as the first proof that the natives are entitled to own this land and continue enjoying the resources they reap from it.
Figure 1: Map of Belcarra Village
Resources under claim: The vast idle lands in Belcarra
Rationale: The land is underutilized by the natives of Belcarra village
ReferenceCBC News. (2013). Six landmark rulings on native rights. Retrieved 06 September 2017, from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/6-landmark-rulings-on-native-rights-1.1316961
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