Aboriginal Law - Seizure Of Goods
Our client's rights under subsection 89(1) of the Indian Act-which precludes seizure of a status Indian's chattels or real property, situate on a reserve, by a non-Indian-were upheld. The defendant company, a native lending institution-which is not an "Indian" under the terms of the Indian Act-had advanced funds to the plaintiff, a status Indian. The defendant, Wally Oakes, General Manager of Ohwisthta, entered into a conditional sales agreement and transmitted it to Ohwistha by way of equitable assignment. Justice Hackland held that the defendants' argument-that the transaction fell within subsection 89(2), thereby obviating the protection afforded the plaintiff under subsection 89(1)-was rejected. He characterized the transaction as being, essentially, a cash loan by a commercial lender. Further, Justice Hackland stated that Ohwistha's claim that it had purchased the plaintiff's equipment and then sold it back, while retaining title as security for its loan, was "pure fiction."
Damages: To be determined.