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Supreme Court agrees to hear B.C. land case that predates Confederation

The Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa on June 8, 2016.

Blair Gable/The Globe and Mail

The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear a British Columbia native band's land case involving alleged wrongdoing that dates back to before Confederation.

The Williams Lake Indian Band won a victory before the federal Specific Claims Tribunal in 2014.

The tribunal ruled that the pre-Confederation colony of British Columbia failed in its obligations to prevent settlers from pre-empting band lands and the government of Canada later failed in its duty as well.

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The claim did not rule on compensation, leaving that for later.

Earlier this year, the Federal Court of Appeal overturned the tribunal finding, saying the body used a flawed principle and reached an unreasonable conclusion.

The Supreme Court will hear the band's appeal of that ruling, although as usual it gave no reasons for deciding to hear the case.

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