In an aboriginal rights and title case, how have the courts considered expert evidence in aboriginal cases?

British Columbia, Canada


The following excerpt is from Sam v. British Columbia, 2016 BCSC 86 (CanLII):

The Songhees also submit that expert evidence in aboriginal cases is particularly important. As was noted in Ahousaht Indian Band v. Canada (Attorney General), 2009 BCSC 1494 at para. 55: The task facing courts in aboriginal rights and title cases is one usually reserved for historians, anthropologists, archaeologists, and ethnographers. Courts have sufficient difficulty determining what happened a few months or years ago, never mind a few centuries ago. The main fact that the plaintiffs seek to prove is that they traded fish prior to contact with European culture, and that that activity is analogous to the modern activity of commercial fishing. The majority of the evidence at trial concerning the aboriginal rights claim was led to prove this fact.

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