Blog Archives

BC Treaty Commission aims for more First Nations deals with expedited process


Leaders of the Tla’amin Nation celebrate their final agreement in 2014, one of few First Nations to complete the modern-day treaty process in British Columbia. (Tla’amin Nation)

WP Note: every few years the governments and BC Treaty Commission attempt to revitalize the “modern day” treaty process, which began in 1993 and has seen over half a billion dollars paid out to band councils involved in negotiations, most of which must be repaid once a treaty is completed.  Many grassroots Natives oppose the BC treaty process because it’s 1) a fraudulent process negotiated between government funded and imposed band councils and the provincial and federal governments (meaning these are not treaties between sovereign nations), and 2) it is part of the state’s long term strategy of legal, political and economic assimilation through which bands will no longer be under the Indian Act and reserve lands are transformed to fee simple property which can be bought, sold or leased like any other property, and 3) it is part of the overall “self-government” policy which ends with bands self-managing their own oppression.

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B.C. treaty process too slow say governments, native leaders

Songhees First Nation Chief Ron Sam speaking at the signing ceremony for the Te'mexw Agreement in Principle Treaty on April 9, 2015. (Murray Rankin/Twitter)

Songhees First Nation Chief Ron Sam speaking at the signing ceremony for the Te’mexw Agreement in Principle Treaty on April 9, 2015. (Murray Rankin/Twitter)

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

Property taxation begins for Nisga’a


Nisgaa Taxation cartoon 1by  Josh Massey, Terrace Standard, March 11, 2015

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

“Practice First, Then Theory:” The Zapatista Little School Shares Lessons Learned During 19 Years of Self-Governance

By Kristin Bricker, CIP Americas, September 5, 2013Zapatista youth fists
The first night of my homestay during the Zapatista Little School, my guardian and her husband asked if their students had any questions.  My classmate and I both had experience working with the Zapatistas, so we politely limited ourselves to the safe questions that are generally acceptable when visiting rebel territory: questions about livestock, crops, local swimming holes, and anything else that doesn’t touch on sensitive information about the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN). Read the rest of this entry