Misinterpretting treaty rights regarding guns led to conviction 

By Blake Ellis


An Aamjiwnaang First Nations man mistakenly thought he had the right as an Indigenous person to carry a firearm as part of his treaty rights.

This is why Jason Nahmabin was walking with a green camouflage gun case over his shoulder in St. Thomas on June 26, 2019. A police officer stopped him and found a .22 caliber rifle with no safety lock. He also had no documentation to legally possess the weapon. He was arrested.

Defence Lawyer Autumn Johnson said it is his right to hunt and fish as an Indigenous person, but he does not have the right, due to safety reasons, to carry a firearm without a permit. He now understands this.

He plead guilty to two counts of possessing prohibited weapons in Sarnia court on April 28.

Police noticed an e-bike travelling at a high rate of speed on London Line in Sarnia on Jan. 13, 2021.  The police officer got behind it to pace it for half a kilometre and found it was going 50 kilometres an hour which is greater than the 32 kilometres that bikes are allowed to travel.

He was stopped and Nahmabin confirmed it was an e-bike, but he had not modified it to go faster. He was a suspended driver with unpaid fines. He was searched and a four-inch knife was found hanging from the front pocket of his pants. It opened with the assistance of a spring, making it a prohibited weapon.

Nahmabin purchased the knife at a store in Sarnia so he was not aware it was prohibited, said Johnson His criminal record is quite extensive stretching back to 2001 with his most recent conviction being in 2019.

He had spent six days in jail and was given time served with a weapons prohibition of five years. He will still be allowed to sustenance hunt as long as he is with a person who is able to supervise him.

The Canadian Press, Canada’s trusted news leader.

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