Counsel at Grant Huberman have been involved in Aboriginal rights and title litigation since 1977, when Peter Grant, the principal of Grant Huberman, raised Aboriginal rights defences to hunting and fishing charges laid against Gitksan persons.  In a series of early leading fishing rights cases, he obtained the acquittals of 24 persons charged with illegally selling fish in the Gitksan community. The Wet’suwet’en were successful in obtaining the recognition of their aboriginal fishing rights in R v. Nikal, a case argued by Peter Grant all the way up to the Supreme Court of Canada.

From the initial discussions of the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en Chiefs to go to Court until the hearing before the Supreme Court of Canada, Peter was involved in the pivotal Aboriginal title case, Delgamuukw v. The Queen.  As one of the lead counsel at trial, he prepared the evidence of over 100 elders who testified by way of affidavits, interrogatories, commission evidence, and at trial.  He was counsel for the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en in the BC Supreme Court and Court of Appeal and he represented the Gitxsan before the Supreme Court of Canada.

Since Delgamuukw, Peter’s legal team has played a significant role in the interpretation of Section 35 rights. In Luuxhon v. The Queen, counsel successfully argued that the Crown has a duty to negotiate in good faith when engaging in treaty negotiations. In other cases counsel helped to clarify the Crown’s duty to consult First Nations with the aim of accommodating their Aboriginal rights and titles (Gwasslam v. British Columbia, Homalco Indian Band v. British and Hupacasath First Nation v. British Columbia).

Cases

Delgamuukw v. The Queen
[1997] 3 S.C.R. 1010, [1993] B.C.J. 1395 (BCCA) [1991] B.C.J. No. 525 (BCSC)
Link to Case here

Luuxhon v. The Queen,
[1999] B.C.J. 659
Link to Case here

Gwasslam v. British Columbia (Minister of Forests),
Gitxsan Nation v. British Columbia (Minister of Forests), 2002 BCSC 1701
Link to Case here

Gitxsan Nation v. British Columbia (Minister of Forests), 2004 BCSC 1734
Link to Case here

Homalco Indian Band v. British Columbia (Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries),
2004 BCSC 1764
Link to Case here

Homalco Indian Band v. British Columbia (Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries),
2005 BCSC 283
Link to Case here

Publications
  • The Supreme Court of Canada’s Decision in Marshall and Bernard: Its Implications for Aboriginal Title in British Columbia,
    Peter Grant and Michael Ross, 2005
    Download Paper [PDF]
  • Oral History in Delgamuukw, Presentation to the Delgamuukw Conference, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, January 1998
  • The Delgamuukw Decision and Oral Histories, Paper presented to the Prairie Treaty Gathering, Saskatchewan, August 5 and 6, 1998
  • Recognition of Traditional Laws in State Courts and the Formulation of State Legislation, in Indigenous Law and the State, Morse & Goodman eds., Foris Publications, 1998, p. 259
  • Delgamuukw et al v. The Queen, case comment on British Columbia Supreme Court decision, March 8, 1991 [unpublished]
  • The Gitksan-Wet’suwet’en Land Claims: Pushing the Boundaries of the Recognition of the Content of Aboriginal Jurisdiction, in Law and Anthropology, Vol 5, 1981, p. 121
  • The Reconciliation Between Aboriginal Title and Treaty Rights in the Forests of British Columbia, Canadian Bar Association Annual Meeting, 1995