CBC

Tribunal ruling says Canada ‘failed completely’ in duty to consult Huu-ay-aht First Nation

A tribunal has awarded the Huu-ay-aht First Nation on Vancouver Island $13.9 million after ruling Canada 'failed completely' in its duty to consult in relation to a historic logging agreement.A tribunal has awarded the Huu-ay-aht First Nation on Vancouver Island $13.9 million after ruling Canada ‘failed completely’ in its duty to consult in relation to a historic logging agreement. (Canadian Press)

A Vancouver Island First Nation says that almost 68 years after Canada refused to protect its timber interests, justice has been served.

A panel that decides First Nations’ claims has awarded the Huu-ay-aht $13.9 million over a disputed logging licence.

The specific claims tribunal had ruled in 2014 that the federal government “failed completely” in its duty to consult the First Nation when it issued a logging licence to a company called BSW in 1942 with a special condition that allowed it a 21-year term that could be renewed.

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Houses are pictured at the Huu-ay-aht First Nation in Anacla, B.C. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

The Huu-ay-aht petitioned the government to cancel the agreement when it learned of the license in 1948, arguing it would not fully benefit from the lumber sales, but Canada allowed BSW to continue logging until 1969.

Chief Coun. Robert Dennis said the ruling marked a great day for the Huu-ay-aht.

“Justice has been served almost 68 years after Canada refused to protect our timber interests,” he said in a statement.

The small First Nation community is located near Bamfield on the west coast of Vancouver Island.