This appeal was heard before the New Brunswick Court of Appeal, and it followed the decisions in R v Sappier and Polchies, 2003 NBPC 2, R v Sappier, 2003 NBQB 228, R v Sappier and Polchies, 2003 NBQB 389, and R v Sappier and Polchies, 2004 NBCA 56.
The issue before the court was whether the appellant, Darrel Gray, a Mi’kmaw individual, was charged with unauthorized cutting of timber on Crown lands, an offence under s. 67(1)(a) of the New Brunswick Crown Lands and Forests Act. Mr. Gray had been acquitted at trial on the basis that he had an Aboriginal right to harvest timber. However, on appeal before the New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench, the defence failed, as the Court found that Mr. Gray could not satisfy the requirement that the right be integral to the claimant’s distinctive Indigenous culture.
In this appeal, Mr. Gray argued that the New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench had erred in its decision to reject his Aboriginal right claim. The Court of Appeal applied the legal test for establishing an Aboriginal right claim as set out in its prior decision in R v Sappier and Polchies, 2004 NBCA 56. Using that five-part test, the court concluded that Mr. Gray had proven his claim, and, specifically, that the New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench had erred in determining that the right was not integral to Mr. Gray’s Mi’kmaw culture. The Court also concluded that the Aboriginal right claimed had not been extinguished. For these reasons, the appeal was allowed, the previous appeal decision was overturned, and the trial decision was restored.
After this decision, the matters raised were brought before the courts again in the following decisions: Gray v R, 2004 CanLII 47133 (NB CA), and R v Sappier; R v Gray,  2 SCR 686, 2006 SCC 54.