Series - Wet'suwet'en Nation Trial Exhibits

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Wet'suwet'en Nation Trial Exhibits

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  • Multiple media

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the series.

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Dates of creation area


  • 1984 - 1997 (Creation)
    Delgamuukw Trial
    British Columbia
    Delgamuukw Trial Conclusion December 11, 1997

Physical description area

Physical description

Textual records and other materials

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Biographical history

The results of the Delgamuukw v. British Columbia Trial are considered a turning point in treaty negotiations, land use policy, and the recognition of the legal concept of Aboriginal title. The case concluded on December 11, 1997, and the Supreme Court of Canada observed that aboriginal title is an ancestral right protected by the Constitution Act of 1982. The action was brought forward by the 51 appellants, all Hereditary Chiefs either of the Wet’suwet’en Nation or Gitxsan Nation, and who individually or on behalf of their Houses and its members, claimed one or more separate specific portions of the 133 individual hereditary territories in Northwest British Columbia, totalling 58,000 square kilometres.

Custodial history

Scope and content

At trial, the Wet’suwet’en people were represented by the 13 Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs, whose territories during that time lay mainly in the watersheds of the Bulkley and parts of the Fraser-Nechako River systems and their tributaries. The original claims were altered and replaced with claims for aboriginal title and self-government, and eventually the individual claims by each House were amalgamated into two collective claims, one on behalf of the Wet’suwet’en Nation and the other for the Gitksan Nation. The Wet’suwet’en Exhibits consists primarily of records relating to Wet'suwet'en history, territory, and traditions. Series also includes Plaintiffs’ expert witness evidence, Wet’suwet’en genealogy information, photographs, oral histories, maps, letters, interviews and commission evidence.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script note

Some of the oral histories and testimonies are in indigenous languages

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

The Wet'suwet'en exhibits (all schedule B exhibits and schedule C exhibits pertaining to the Wet'suwet'en Nation) may be accessed with written permission from the Office of the Wet'suwet'en. Contact information may be obtained from the RBSC archivist.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Materials may not be redistributed. Research or Personal use must be indicated. Photocopies for research must be stamped, and any products from the research must be shared with the Wet'suwet'en Nation.

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General note

Some Wet'suwet'en Exhibits are cross-listed as Gitxsan Exhibits.

Physical description

949 Exhibits


Testimonies or materials submitted by individuals belonging to the Wet'suwet'en Nations are considered the intellectual and cultural property of the Wet'suwet'en people.

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