Modern day treaty process has produced only 4 treaties in 20 years
By Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press/CBC News, April 12, 2015
There is easy agreement between First Nations and the British Columbia and federal governments that treaty negotiations are languishing, expensive and fraught with obstacles, but all sides have completely different views on how to solve the problem.
The agony and ecstasy of the maligned and saluted treaty process was on full display last week when hundreds of cheering people witnessed the signing of an agreement-in-principle on a southern Vancouver Island treaty after 20 years of talks. Read the rest of this entry
For husband and wife Oscar and Mary Moore, the dawning of the property taxation era in the Nass Valley means hope that the dirt roads in their home town of Gingolx will soon be paved, although they say that other community members do not agree with paying property tax.
“It’s something I think we understand that we need in order for us to get proper facilities in our reserve, like a paved road and stuff like that,” said Oscar Moore, who has worked most of his life as a master carver of drums and household merchandise.
First it was sales taxes and then income taxes and now it’s property taxes as the Nisga’a Lisims Government works on establishing revenue sources needed to run and operate their nation. Read the rest of this entry
The Canadian Press/CBC, Aug 12, 2014
A stack of overlapping land claims by First Nations is a “cancer” within British Columbia’s treaty process, says a prominent provincial chief spearheading a court challenge of the decades-old method of negotiating aboriginal rights and title in the province.
The seven-members Okanagan National Alliance has filed a civil claim in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver disputing the B.C. Treaty Process, and centres it legal action around an agreement between the province and Ktunaxa Nation Council.
The incremental treaty agreement was signed in March 2013 and gives the Cranbrook, B.C., nation and its adjoining bands 242 hectares of land in the West Kootenay. The deal is the first stage of forging a broader treaty. Read the rest of this entry
Policy changes aimed at reviving B.C. treaty process, gaining support for natural-resource projects: Aboriginal Affairs
Lawyer Douglas Eyford named Valcourt’s “special representative”
OTTAWA — The Harper government announced Monday sweeping policy changes aimed at reviving the B.C. treaty process and convincing more First Nations they should support major natural-resource initiatives in B.C.
Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt’s new approach is in response to numerous criticisms over several years that the government has been inflexible in its approach to treaties, and that it has failed to adequately consult First Nations on controversial oilsands pipeline proposals.
Valcourt appointed Vancouver lawyer Douglas Eyford, the author of a critical government-commissioned report published last December, to lead a process to “renew and reform” a comprehensive treaty process that has produced just four deals in more than two decades of talks.
The northwestern B.C. First Nation has approved the privatization of 3 homes
The Nisga’a Nation in northwestern British Columbia has become the only First Nation in Canada to let its people own tribal land privately.
The First Nation’s land registrar says it has now signed off on the first three transfers of property to individuals in the Greenville area of the remote First Nation’s land. Read the rest of this entry
Across Highway 6 from Box Lake there is a stretch of forest familiar with mountain bikers and hikers who walk the old railway bed. A 242-hectare section twice as long as Box Lake running parallel to the highway is now Ktunaxa land, as of March 27, when the area was signed over to the First Nation by the provincial and federal governments.
Not everyone is pleased with the deal. Marilyn James, representative from the Sinixt Nation, who said the Sinixt have had a land claim filed since 2008. Read the rest of this entry
A parking lot near the British Columbia legislature in Victoria and the current site of a government liquor store in nearby Esquimalt are two of several Vancouver Island properties slated to be transferred to five first nations in advance of treaty settlements.
The land agreements are all on southern Vancouver Island, as are the five first nations involved. Read the rest of this entry
Sliammon First Nation members in British Columbia have voted, with 57.5 percent in favor, to accept a treaty settlement awarding it 20,510 acres of land and $30 million over a decade.
The July 10 vote was fraught with controversy, however, as some band members boycotted the vote as illegitimate. With only 318 of the nation’s 615 members voting yes, the treaty was effectively ratified by a 10-vote margin, leading critics to promise a legal challenge. Read the rest of this entry