For Aboriginal (Un)History Month, we are featuring our digital collection of the Delgamuukw trial transcripts, which document a landmark case in British Columbian and Canadian history.
The Delgamuukw case began in 1984 with the Gitxan and Wet’suwet’en Nations claiming ownership and jurisdiction over 58,000 square kilometres of British Columbia, and ended in the Supreme Court of Canada in 1997. No decision was reached on the land claim; however, the Delgamuukw case set many important precedents in Canadian treaty negotiations. These precedents concern many legal questions, such as
- the definitions of aboriginal rights and title
- the potential extent of aboriginal title across British Columbia
- the potential conflicts between aboriginal title and private property ownership
- the standing of aboriginal oral histories as reliable historical records
Furthermore, the Supreme Court decision helps to outline how conflicts between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people may be resolved through open and creative negotiations.
Our digital collection has been recently updated with additional metadata and high-quality PDF downloads, so that the documents may be more easily discovered and accessed. To see our collection, click here.
For a more in-depth summary of the significance of the Delgamuukw case, see the article here.
For UBC’s research guide concerning the Delgamuukw case, click here.