In Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia, 2014 SCC 44, the Supreme Court of Canada reaffirmed that the doctrine of terra nullius – no one owned the land prior to European assertion of sovereignty – never applied in Canada: the Royal Proclamation (1763), R.S.C. 1985, App. II, No. 1 (paragraph 69). Where Aboriginal title can be established, such title confers overriding legal and beneficial ownership rights analogous to those associated with fee simple: essentially the right to use and control the land and to reap the benefits flowing from it (paragraphs 2 and 73). However, this right represents a collective title held not only for the present Aboriginal generation but for all succeeding generations; this means the title cannot be alienated (except to the Crown) or encumbered in ways that would prevent future generations of the Aboriginal group from using and enjoying it (paragraph 74). The Crown can only infringe on Aboriginal title with the consent of the Aboriginal group or where the encumbrance is justified by a compelling and substantial public purpose that is not inconsistent with the Crown’s fiduciary duty to the Aboriginal group (paragraphs 2 and 88). As a practical matter, in any proposed resource development where Aboriginal title is claimed, the Crown and project proponents will likely gain certainty only “…by obtaining the consent of the interested Aboriginal group” (see paragraph 97). Short of such consent, any project rights secured might be reversed retroactively if they are later shown to unjustifiably infringe on Aboriginal title (paragraph 92). This case will likely have important implications on the tax characterization of certain project costs in many resource industries.