Forest Management in Alberta and Rights to Hunt, Trap and Fish under Treaty 8


  • Monique M. Ross
  • Cheryl Y. Sharvit



In this article, the authors discuss the principles of interpretation applicable to treaties and how these principles apply to Treaty 8. This analysis leads to the suggestion that Alberta's current regulatory scheme for allocating and managing timber harvesting rights over traditional lands of the Cree and Dene (signatories to Treaty 8) may breach the terms of the treaty. The authors further consider Treaty 8 and the Natural Resources Transfer Agreement (NRTA) in relation to constitutional principles — division of powers and s. 35(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982. Finally, the authors demonstrate that the rights to hunt, trap and fish, guaranteed to the signatories of Treaty 8 and confirmed by the NRTA, exist today and are arguably being infringed unjustifiably by Alberta's forest management regime.