Governments' authority over Indigenous usage questioned at North Bay trial

NORTH BAY, Ont.-Fifty-four people from Lake Nipissing say they are guilty of doing what they've been accused of: fishing. However, their lawyer says, that doesn't make a difference.

The defendants are charged with violating Ontario's hunting and fishing laws, as well as commercial fishing laws of Nipissing First Nation. But their lawyer, Michael Swinwood, is countering that those charging them have no authority to do so.

He said the Robinson Huron Treaty of 1850 was signed by Potawatomi people from the United States who didn't actually represent the Indigenous communities of Lake Nipissing.

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