FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Chief Lorraine Augustine Organization: Native Council of Nova Scotia Telephone:
Class Action Certified by Supreme Court of Nova Scotia
The Native Council of Nova Scotia announced today that the Nova Scotia Supreme Court has certified
a class action for members who had lost access to hunting rights when the Nova Scotia Government
cancelled its long-standing recognition of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights Association (ATRA)
Passports issued by the Netukulimkewe’l Commission, a harvesting management authority established
by the NCNS in the 1980s.
“For almost 30 years, the Province recognized ATRA cards and allowed Mi’kmaq harvesters to use
these cards to hunt and fish in accordance with responsible stewardship principles that the Mi’kmaq
have always followed”, stated NCNS Chief Lorraine Augustine. “Now that the Court has certified the
class action, it’s time for the Province to return to the negotiating table, and avoid escalating
damage claims from members who lost their rights”.
The Province stopped recognizing ATRA cards in 2017, and the lawsuit was launched in 2019, claiming
damages of $40 million against the Province. The Court’s 173-page decision dated January 27, 2022
permits the lawsuit to proceed as a class action on behalf of up to 387 NCNS members who were
affected by the Province’s decision. The Court found that the class action was a proper procedure
to pursue these claims, noting that “a significant feature is that a class action is uniquely
consistent with the purpose and principles of reconciliation”.
“We are committed to achieving justice on behalf of our members, and will continue to advance these
claims until the Province starts acting in accordance with the honour of the Crown”, added Chief
The Native Council of Nova Scotia is represented by Andrew Lokan of Paliare Roland
Rosenberg Rothstein LLP of Toronto and Robert H. Pineo of Patterson Law of Halifax.