The issue of whether or not Canadian Aboriginal peoples were subject to provincial laws for the regulation of wildlife and hunting was finally decided by the courts in 1965. The Saalequun people of Vancouver Island had originally settled with Governor James Douglas for the cession of their lands in return for a specific reserve area and hunting and fishing rights to other unoccupied areas of the region. In 1964, two of their men were charged under the provincial game laws with possession of six deer carcasses out of season. Ably represented by lawyer Thomas Berger, the Saalequun appealed their original conviction and the B.C. court overturned the ruling, stating that treaty rights took precedence over provincial laws. The Supreme Court of Canada upheld the appeal decision.

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