Aboriginal Litigation

Reportex has reported and transcribed several landmark Aboriginal trials.  We have a deep appreciation for the cultural respect that must be observed with each unique Aboriginal group, and we are sensitive to the powerful importance of each group’s unique language.

Our years of working with many First Nations across British Columbia and Canada has resulted in our highly streamlined systems for managing complex spelling lists and dictionaries, and the linguists on our team work with traditional spellers to ensure that, whenever possible, the diacritical marks of a First Nation’s lexicon are incorporated into the transcripts.

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Cases of Note

William (Tsilhqot’in Nation) v. Her Majesty the Queen

This case spanned 339 days between November 2002 and April 2007 and involved the evidence of dozens of elders, many of whom testified through translators.  Trial evidence was heard both in Victoria and in Tl’ebayi, Xeni in the Nemiah Valley.

By the end of the trial the realtime reporter (Christy Pratt) had created a 10,000+ orthographic dictionary in the Tsilh’qot’in language, which was derived from months of examinations for discovery, depositions and trial proceedings.

In addition to the complex spelling requirements for this trial, Reportex also provided remote realtime reporting for counsel who did not appear in court each day.
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West Moberly First Nations and others v. HMTQ, BC and others

This fully electronic trial spanned 60 days and involved five parties and three intervenors, all with their own realtime reporting and transcript requirements.

The parties utilized an e-platform and SMART Board technology for viewing and marking documents contained in an extensive digital common book.  Reportex worked with the parties to ensure that the courtroom was adequately wired for realtime technology and provided guidance on how to effectively utilize the electronic documents in court.
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R. v. DeSautel

In this 15-day trial the court was asked to recognize the Aboriginal rights of the Sinixt First Nation whose traditional territory spans the US/Canada border.  This was a historical case involving extensive anthropological evidence, and our realtime reporter and her editing team worked meticulously to ensure that the Aboriginal words used by the witnesses were accurately reflected in the record.
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Council of the Haida Nation v. Her Majesty the Queen (ongoing)

This ongoing matter has involved the reporting of deposition evidence of 15 elders heard in Haida Gwaii, BC, and in Hydaburg, Alaska.  Our realtime reporting team is working with the Haida word-spellers to ensure that Aboriginal words used across three different dialects are accurately reflected in the transcripts from their unique communities.


Saik’uz First Nation and Stellat’en First Nation v. Rio Tinto Alcan et al.

After a landmark ruling by the BC Court of Appeal allowing First Nations to pursue tort claims against private parties, a 200-day trial began in BC Supreme Court using Reportex’s services. Our team is engaged to provide realtime reporting and—due to the volume of documentary evidence in this matter—run a fully electronic trial in Vancouver and a mobile version of the e-trial in Prince George.

Reportex is providing project management, a custom e-trial platform, an e-trial technician and a realtime reporter for this trial, giving the parties onsite and remote access to the trial exhibits and transcripts. During this ongoing matter, counsel and the court will refer to thousands of documents dating back to the mid 20th century in order to determine the impact of the Kenney Dam on the Saik’uz and Stellat’en people, their traditional lands and their fishing rights.


Cowichan Tribes v. Canada et al

The Cowichan Nation has taken legal action in BC Supreme Court to secure Aboriginal title to 780 acres of their traditional territory as well as fishing rights on the south arm of the Fraser River. This 300-day trial involves all five bands of the Cowichan Nation as well as the Government of Canada, the Government of BC, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, the City of Richmond and the Tsawwassen and Musqueam First Nations.

Reportex is providing realtime court reporting to all parties (both onsite and remotely), and we’ve provided counsel with a transcript workflow that ensures valuable annotations and notes are preserved when draft transcripts are synchronized with the certifieds.