The Regulation and Litigation of Cumulative Effects on Indigenous Rights Following the Yahey Decision and Blueberry River First Nation Settlement and the Potential Effects on the Energy Industry


  • Sander Duncanson
  • Sean Sutherland
  • Martha Peden
  • Kevin Thrasher


The British Columbia Supreme Court issued a groundbreaking decision in Yahey v. British Columbia: the Crown had failed to uphold its treaty obligations due to the cumulative effects of over 100 years of development. In response to the 2021 decision, British Columbia and Blueberry River First Nation have reached a multi-million dollar investment agreement which includes joint decision-making powers regarding future development.

Yahey’s novel reasoning has significant implications for energy and resource development, treaty relations, and litigation across Canada. Similar claims have now been filed in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario, including Duncan’s First Nation seeking to apply Yahey’s reasoning in northwest Alberta. If courts across Canada adopt Yahey, land management decision-making could fundamentally change across much of the country.







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