Canada's top court rules U.S.-based First Nation maintains rights across the border

OTTAWA, April 23 (Reuters) - Canada's Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the descendants of the U.S.-based Sinixt nation maintained ancestral land rights even after members moved south in the 19th century, a landmark decision that ends a decade-long legal dispute.

The court ruled in favor of Rick Desautel, a Sinixt descendant who lives in Washington state. In 2010, he was charged with hunting without a license on traditional Sinixt lands in British Columbia. In 1956, Canada declared the band "extinct" because there were no more Sinixt living in the country.

(Reporting by Moira Warburton and Steve Scherer Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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