Judge D. John Kovach made this choice after examining an event in October 2018 in Moose Mountain Provincial Park. Two men from an Ontario First Nation had been charged with illegal hunting.
Prior to this decision, only First Nations people from Treaty Areas 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10 in Saskatchewan were allowed to hunt without license on Crown lands in the province. Any First Nations people outside these areas had to have a hunting license.
In his ruling, Kovach J. pointed out that the Saskatchewan Natural Resources Transfer Agreement allows any member of a Treaty First Nation in Canada to hunt in unoccupied territory of the Crown.
Crown Attorneys argued that the federal land transfer agreement and the province only affected treaty First Nations who had an aboriginal right to hunt in the province.
The leader of the Federation of Saskatchewan Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN), Bobby Cameron, is delighted with the news. He believes this is a judicial victory because the province has repeatedly opposed the expansion of First Nations hunting rights.
According to him, this situation is far from exceptional. It was not the first time that First Nations people had been arrested after hunting outside their province.
For example, the Supreme Court of Canada decided that it would not hear the province's appeal in the case of Manitoba man Kristjan Pierone who shot dead a moose on private land near Swift Current in 2015. Mr. Pierone did not obtain the authorization of the owner. However, the courts ruled that the land was unused.
Bobby Cameron made a very clear warning to the provincial government and the justice system: "Give it up. You have wasted a lot of taxpayers' money. We must focus on the most important elements. "