The Provincial Court of Saskatchewan held that a road located on the Gordon First Nation reserve fell within the meaning of “street, road, highway or other public place” in section 259 of the Criminal Code. The accused was found guilty of driving while disqualified.

The road in question is known locally as Pratt Road. It runs east and west on the reserve. On the western boundary, it continues as a municipal road and then intersects with Highway 6.  On the east, it intersects with a major graveled grid road known as the 640 Grid. A driver requires a licence to drive on the provincial highway and the 640 Grid.

Whether or not a road on an Indian reserve is a “public road” is a question of fact. A road open to the public is one which members of the public generally have access, and not one that has been constructed for the use and benefit of a special group. The Court found that Pratt Road is used not only by residents of the Reserve, but also non-residents who pass through to access the 640 Grid. In consequence, the accused McNab was required to have a valid driver’s licence to drive there.


Scott Kerwin


Aboriginal Law