Lax Kw’alaams asks court to order Gitxaala hereditary chief be involved in Watson Island court case

In the court case involving the City of Prince Rupert, the Lax Kw'alaams First Nation and the Gitxaala First Nation of Kitkatla, the last two of whom are claiming Aboriginal title on Watson Island, took another turn this week

In the court case involving the City of Prince Rupert, the Lax Kw’alaams First Nation and the Gitxaala First Nation of Kitkatla, the last two of whom are claiming Aboriginal title on Watson Island, took another turn this week as Lax Kw’alaams applied to Court to oblige a hereditary Chief to be made available as a second representative to be examined for discovery.

According to papers filed in the Supreme Court of BC on October 12, Kitkatla Chief Elmer Moody was questioned about when Kitkatla lived on Watson Island, what the band used the island for, if Aboriginal uses have been practiced on the land in the last 50 years, if Aboriginal title was practiced while the pulp mill was operational, what the traditional name of Watson Island is. According to the documents, Chief Moody said he did not know the answers as only the Blackfish Clan used and claims ownership of Watson Island and he is not a member of that clan, but that the answers rest on the oral history of Blackfish hereditary chief Clarence Innes.

After requesting a chance to question Mr. Innes, a letter was sent to Lax Kw’alaams counsel indicating that “oral history does not easily fit into the discovery process” and that the Gitxaala refused to produce Mr. Innes for questioning.

Now Lax Kw’alaams counsel has filed an application to the court to order Mr. Innes be available for questioning on or before November 15 and that any of the 29 outstanding questions from a June 16 discovery session be answered by November 15 as well.

During his testimony at the Examination of Discovery, Chief Moody stated that the basis of the Plaintiff’s claim to Watson Island rests on the oral history of Clarence Innes, who is hereditary chief of the Blackfish Clan, and his clan…The Plaintiffs now contend that they do not have to produce a witness who can attest to the oral history evidence,” read the document.

As a result, the defendants would be left without any evidence at all on Discovery supporting the asserted claim of title and the assertions of irreparable harm.”

Lax Kw’alaams contends that getting the information from the oral history is “essential to allow Lax Kw’alaams to prepare for trial” and that there is no rule in BC precluding oral history from the examination process. It says they have requested the information before, but are now turning to the courts to move the process forward.

Chief Moody has failed to answer any of the requests for information. The Defendant fears that without an order of this court the information will not be forthcoming in a timely manner,” read the document.

The documents have been filed with the Court but no Court ruling has accepted the allegations, or the arguments, nor has the application been considered by the Court.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, prepares a dose of the Moderna vaccine in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Almost two in three Canadians surveyed recently said they trust COVID-19 vaccines to be both safe and effective. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Northern Health to open 30 COVID vaccine clinics for oldest residents, Indigenous seniors

Health authority says it plans to vaccinate nearly 15,000 people in Phase Two

Prince Rupert’s Bobby Brown celebrated his 95th birthday milestone on March 5 with family across the country in an online celebration. (Photo: supplied by Jodi Brown)
Prince Rupert man celebrates 95th birthday milestone online

Five generations come together COVID-19 style in Prince Rupert to say “Happy Birthday”

Main door at Cranes Crossing, Prince Rupert’s homeless shelter, on March 5. Northern Health issued a public notice of potential exposure occurring at the shelter between Feb. 22 and 24. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
COVID-19 Public Exposure Notice issued for Prince Rupert’s homeless shelter

Northern Health said possible exposure between Feb. 22 and 24

Air Canada cancelled flights to Prince Regional Airport on Jan. 23, 2021 due to loss of ridership during COVID-19. An Air Canada Rouge takes off from Montreal in March 20, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)
BC Liberals call for immediate action and support for B.C. airports

Prince Rupert Regional Airport and others across the province struggle with COVID-19 effects

Paul Williams rector of St. Andrews Cathedral in Prince Rupert sits in front of the 95-year-old pipe organ on March 5. The church has put out a community call for volunteers to play the instrument to keep it fresh and operational. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
St. Andrews Cathedral pipe organ needs players to make it sing

Prince Rupert volunteers who want to practice their playing skills are welcome

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

(BC SPCA)
Is it safe to give your dog some peanut butter? Not always, BC SPCA warns

Some commercial peanut butter ingredients can be harmful to dogs

Health Minister Adrian Dix, front, B.C. Premier John Horgan and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrive for a news conference about the provincial response to the coronavirus, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, March 6, 2020. Pandemic emergency measures have been in place for almost a year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. officials plead for patience as 1.7 million COVID-19 calls flood in

Vaccine registration for 90-plus seniors opened Monday

A West Kootenay man died in an avalanche on March 4 while snowmobiling near Mount Payne, which is indicted by the red flag. Illustration: Google Maps
B.C. father of 3 dead after avalanche in West Kootenay

The man was snowmobiling with a group when incident occurred March 4

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Vaccine hesitancy decreases in B.C. as mass immunizations set to begin: poll

Two-thirds of British Columbians, and Canadians, would get the vaccine as soon as possible

Software engineer Shaimma Yehia, 40, has been forced to re-skill during the COVID-19 pandemic after more than six years of unsuccessfully applying for jobs in B.C.’s tech industry. (Submitted photo/Shaimma Yehia)
Why skilled immigrant women continue to be shut out of B.C.’s booming tech sector

Experienced software engineer Shaimma Yehia, 40, hasn’t found a job since she migrated to Canada 6 years ago

Ron Sivorot, business director at Kennametal’s Langford site, the Greater Victoria facility that made a component being used on NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars. (Jake Romphf, Black Press Media)
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover digging in with B.C.-made part

Kennametal’s Langford plant’s tooth blank is helping the rover’s drill collect rock cores

A woman walks through Toronto’s financial district on Monday, July 30, 2018. A new poll suggests most Canadians believe there’s still a long way to go to achieve gender equality in this country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Canadians, especially women, say gender equality not achieved in Canada: Poll

Poll results themselves underscore the challenge, with more men believing equality had been achieved

Most Read