SUPREME COURT OF CANADA DECISION
SIMON V. THE QUEEN
In the Simon decision of 1986 the Supreme Court ruled that the Treaty of 1752 was a valid treaty and that registered Mi'kmaq did not need a provincial license to hunt, fish, and gather. Pertinent sections of the Simon decision:
Supreme Court of Canada, decision on appeal from the Court of Appeal for Nova Scotia
Reference: Indians-Treaty Rights-Right to Hunt-Provincial Law Restricting that Right-Whether or not Treaty Rights prevail-Indian Act, Section 88-Lands and Forests Act (Nova Scotia)-Constitution Act, 1982, Section 35.
Appellant, a Registered Micmac Indian (James Simon), was convicted under Section 150(1) of Nova Scotia's Lands and Forest Act for possession of a rifle and shotgun cartridges. Although appellant admitted all essential elements of the charges, it was argued that the right to hunt set out in the Treaty of 1752, in combination with Section 88 of the Indian Act, offered him immunity from prosecution under the Provincial Act.
Article 4 of that Treaty stated that the Micmac have "free liberty of hunting and fishing as usual" and Section 88 provided that provincial laws of general application applied to Indians, subject to the terms of any Treaty.
The Court of Appeal upheld the trial judge's ruling that the Treaty of 1752 did not exempt appellant from the provisions of the provincial Lands and Forests Act. At issue here was whether or not appellant enjoys hunting rights, pursuant to the Treaty of 1752 and Section 88 of the Indian Act, which preclude his prosecution for certain offenses under the Lands and Forests Act.
Held: The appeal should be allowed.