Overall impact on traditional territory to be considered.
In a ruling handed down March 28, Madame Justice B. A. Browne, of the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, rejected arguments presented by the federal and provincial governments to strike down court action initiated by Beaver Lake Cree Nation. Browne ruled that a First Nation has the right to challenge the governments in court to ensure their treaty rights are protected into the future. "It's a vindication of what Beaver Lake has said that their treaty protects the core right to the meaningful exercise of treaty rights in that the government can be held accountable for failing to protect that," said BLCN's legal counsel Jay Nelson, with Woodward and Company. The court action was initiated in 2008. BLCN's claims were broad, referring not to specific development in the traditional territory but to the overall impact the gas, oil, forestry and mining industries have had and will continue to have.