In a landmark logging decision, the New Brunswick Court of Appeal has ruled in favor of a Mi’kmaq man, Joshua Bernard.
The court ruled that Bernard, from Eel Ground Reserve near Miramichi, N.B., has a treaty right to harvest and sell trees growing on Crown lands that were historically occupied by native people in that area.
The decision could have major ramifications for Canada’s forestry industry, and is expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada.
This ruling comes on the heels of the Donald Marshall case four years ago, where it was ruled that the Mi’kmaq have inherent rights pertaining to fishing as well.
The Bernard case began in 2000, when he was convicted of illegal possession of 23 spruce logs harvested from Crown land not far from his reserve.
The importance of the case led the province of Nova Scotia to join in the fight against Bernard.