Berger was the original lawyer for the Nisga’a Nation in the landmark Calder case in the 1960s and early ’70s, which established Aboriginal title in Canadian law.
After he was appointed to the B.C. Supreme Court in 1971, he headed the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry from 1974-77.
His report called for a halt to the pipeline until Native land claims were addressed. Native leader George Manuel called it “the best statement on Indian rights to come from any government since the Europeans first came to Canada.”
Berger died Wednesday in Vancouver after a battle with cancer. He was 88.
Thomas Rodney Berger, QC OC OBC (March 23, 1933 — April 28, 2021) was a Canadian politician and jurist. Berger was the leader of the British Columbia New Democratic Party.