Aboriginal Fishing Rights: Laws, Courts, Politics

SKU: 9781895686982

Parnesh Sharma
Grade Levels:
Eleven, Twelve, College, University
Pacific NW, Salish
Book Type:
Fernwood Publishing
Copyright Date:

Sale price$25.00


Aboriginal Fishing Rights: Laws, Courts, Politics is an analysis of the Musqueam First Nation's historic Sparrow case (1990) and the implications of the Supreme Court's decision regarding Aboriginal fishing rights. Parnesh Sharma is a research analyst with the federal government and this slim volume examines the fishing issue from the perspective of whether groups such as First Nations can effectively use the Canadian legal system to advance their pursuit of justice and equality. The narrow focus of the text allows readers to understand the larger implications of Aboriginal Rights within the Canadian justice system. The author outlines the nature of fishing in British Columbia, and identifies the key players – the Musqueam First Nation, the multinationals in the commercial fishing industry, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). Within the commercial fishing industry there are lobby groups, unions, and small commercial fishing companies, as well as the multinationals. Chapters describe the situation for Aboriginal fishing in BC prior to the Sparrow decision, after the rendering of the Supreme Court decision, and the recent implications of the decision to 1996. Unfortunately, the author concludes that First Nations and Aboriginal Rights always take a backseat in the legal system and the commercial fishing industry. In spite of the conclusion, this book simplifies a complex issue for ordinary readers interested in the issue of Aboriginal Rights and the Sparrow Case in particular. Through the use of interviews with the key players involved in the British Columbia fishing industry, the author identifies the issues, the inherent racism, and the shortcomings of the Canadian Constitution and section 35(1). With recent developments regarding the regulation of the industry as well as the Marshall decision from the East Coast, Aboriginal Fishing Rights will remain a constant issue in the Canadian justice system.

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