From the moment of its release on December 11, 1997, the Supreme Court of Canada's decision on aboriginal title in the case of Delgamuukw v. British Columbia was immediately recognized as a landmark judgment. The Court ruled, unanimously and more forcefully than ever before, that Native people have a unique claim to their traditional lands, that provinces don't have the power to arbitrarily extinguish aboriginal title, and that Native oral history is a valid proof of such claims.
Triumphantly welcomed by Native leaders and fiercely derided by its critics, the decision has unleashed a storm of controversy among Native and non-Native groups. This book presents the entire text of the Delgamuukw decision. The commentary by Stan Persky provides background information on the Gitxsan-Wet'sewet'en people of British Columbia, who brought the case to court, and analyzes the meaning of the decision.