Common Sense Canadian

Lead lawyer explains Tsilhqot’in case, aboriginal title and rights

PostedJuly 4, 2014 by in Canada

In early 2008, on the heels of BC Supreme Court Justice David Vickers’ initial ruling in favour of the Tsilhqot’in First Nation’s Williams case, I interviewed the plaintiff’s lead lawyer, Jack Woodward at his office in Victoria.

Throughout this in-depth discussion, Woodward details the case itself, the intersection of aboriginal title and rights with BC’s fascinating colonial history, and the implications of the decision on the future of resource development in the province and across the country – everything from mines to hydroelectric development and oil and gas.

Nearly seven years later, Woodward’s comments prove every bit as insightful and relevant, with the Tsilhqot’in victory at the Supreme Court of Canada – aptly called a “game-changer” for resource development in Canada.


About the Author

Damien Gillis

Damien Gillis is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on environmental and social justice issues - especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada's wild salmon - working with many environmental organizations in BC and around the world. He is the co-founder, along with Rafe Mair, of The Common Sense Canadian, and a board member of both the BC Environmental Network and the Haig-Brown Institute.


    Donna Stocker

    This should be on the curriculum in all high schools. How many people know a tenth of this?


    Jack Woodward, check this out.

    Implement & Enforce, and Give Effect to this case and all of our Aboriginal Title Wins.

    Don F.

    Thanks again Damien. Very interesting and informative learning much on how Native government authority lies. Game changing on many fronts that concern many such as myself on projects such as run of river[so called] legitimacy according to law.
    Thanks for the insight!

    Charles Jeanes

    if one cares to know important facts about BC and the land rights of First Nations — a topic with huge implications for this province, its economy, politics, law, and ecology — one has a civic duty to take the 38 minutes needed to view this video.


      well said, Charles. I agree 100%–very critical to understand this information in the days, months, and years ahead. Mr. Woodward lays it out very clearly.

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