Rick Desautel

Emily Schwing / NW News Network

British Columbia’s Court of Appeal has sided with a Washington man in a decade-long tribal sovereignty case.

On Thursday the Court dismissed a second appeal of the sovereign tribal hunting rights case of Rick Desautel, effectively reinstating a tribe the Canadian government declared ‘extinct’ more than six decades ago.

Photo by Emily Schwing / Northwest News Network

Nearly half of the members of the Colville Reservation in northeastern Washington state have ties to a tribe that Canada says no longer exists. In 1956, the last member of the Sinixt in Canada passed away.

Emily Schwing / NW News Network

Tribal members are waiting for the next move from British Columbia’s provincial government in a long-running battle over sovereign rights. Last month, a British Columbia Supreme Court judge ruled against the province, siding with a Washington man in an illegal hunting case.