Two days have been set aside for the NunatuKavut Community Council's appeal to an injunction keeping its members at least 50 metres from the Muskrat Falls construction site in Labrador.
The hearings, before a trio of judges, began today at the Newfoundland Supreme Court of Appeal in St. John's.
The NunatuKavut Community Council is seeking to have the injunction thrown out.
NunatuKavut president Todd Russell and Nalcor Energy vice president Gilbert Bennett were both present in the courtroom as hearings began at about 10:15 a.m.
Russell was arrested by the RCMP while protesting the Muskrat Falls development along with other NunatuKavut Community Council members earlier this year.
The group asserts aboriginal rights as Inuit and Inuit-Metis descendants in Central and Southern Labrador. The group does not have a recognized lands claim with the provincial or federal governments.
Crown corporation Nalcor Energy has maintained the NunatuKavut Community Council has been fairly consulted while the project has developed.
The injunction restricting access to the project site is in place for safety reasons, Bennett has said, considering construction underway, heavy equipment in use and Nalcor's own safety policies.
"We prefer negotiation — meaningful negotiation — and we've requested it time and time again to no avail. When we demonstrate on our traditional territory, we are slapped with an unprecedented lawsuit that has the effect of permanently prohibiting and extinguishing our rights and title to that land," Russell said, in a written statement issued prior to the start of hearings.