Handcuffed for trying to open a bank account while indigenous - 2020-01-12
Maxwell Johnson is a member of the Heiltsuk nation on the central coast of British Columbia. From time immemorial the Heiltsuk have set up frames containing kelp fronds in the sea, to attract herring to lay their eggs there, and they relish this caviar-like delicacy.
The market for "spawn on kelp" in Japan has become lucrative, but the government of Canada banned such sales, until in 1996 the Canadian Supreme Court found that the Heiltsuk had been gathering spawn as a trade good as well as for their own sustenance since before first contact with the white man. Therefore, it was an infringement of aboriginal rights to prevent them profiting from this trade.
However, it was not until June of last year that the case was finally settled with a payment of $30,000 to each adult member of the Heiltsuk Band, and it was not finally disbursed until December.