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June 26, 2014

Legal Expert Jack Woodward Discusses Aboriginal Title Rights vs Private River Power in BC

On June 26 the Supreme Court of Canada handed down their unanimous decision.  The judges decided 8 - 0 that the Tsilhqot'in hold Aboriginal Title to their land.  The primary lawyer for the Tsilhqot'in is Jack Woodward QC.  In this video clip Jack talks about how the Indian Act band isn't always the rights holder, that title and rights are held by the customary governing body.

Another key contributor in the Tsilhqot'in Decision,  is John Dewhirst MA RPCA, primary anthropologist and expert witness on aboriginal ethnography.  Since testifying for the Tsilhqot'in, John has spent most of his time studying the Carrier's Keyoh system of land tenure.  Based on John Dewhirst's research and the Jack Woodward video, Title and Rights belongs to the customary group.  In this case the Keyoh Holders or Keyohwhudachun are the customary hereditary chiefs of the Stuart Lake Carrier Keyohs.  The Keyoh Holder or Keyohwhudachun and his or her patrilocal resident family are the aboriginal group who hold Aboriginal Rights and Title to their Keyoh.

Chief Sally Sam b1938 is the Keyohwhudachun for the Maiyoo Keyoh, Sally and her extended family hold Aboriginal Title to the Maiyoo Keyoh.

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