The Issue Of Land Rights Essay

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Land rights has been a big topic in recent years, especially in British Columbia where all of the government proposed sites for projects like the LNG pipelines, the site C dam or hydraulic fracturing, falls on aboriginal territory. Simultaneously water rights have gathered international attention due to protests towards the North Dakota Access pipeline, the Muskrat falls and other various pipelines and proposed dams. All this begs the question given that aboriginal rights to water have existed from time immemorial, what rights still exist regardless of the government attempts to extinguish these inherent rights and are they being upheld. With respect to British Columbia, I will attempt to understand this question by looking at the historical different approaches to water rights, the B.C. governments prior allocation system and the federal water policy to determine what scope of rights Aboriginal have in water governance.

I became interested in this topic through an article called ““Water Will Drive Most Decision-making” in BC’s Future, says Land Champion” written by Chris Wood. This article was an interview with Deborah Curran, a legal activist and acting executive director of the Environmental Law Center at the University of Victoria. This article interview follows her winning the 2016 Real Estate foundation on how land use and water flow together. The Article was published by The Tyee on the 26th of September 2016. Throughout the interview Curran goes into details about
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