BC Treaty Process

"First of all; we acknowledge and recognize Tatau,
the Creator through Manakays, the Great Spirit
for all that is provided for us since the
beginning of time and still is today"

"The Nuxalk people do not want a settlement of their Aboriginal Title and Rights which in any way reflects a termination nor do they want a final cash–for–land settlement. The Nuxalk people want recognition and acceptance of their Aboriginal Title and Rights within the international world community. If colonialism was eliminated then the Nuxalk people can get recognition for their Aboriginal Title and Rights and if they hold to their Nuxalk territory, a new modern state will take its rightful place. The Nuxalk people, as indigenous peoples from time immemorial, are born with their inherent Aboriginal Title and Rights to all their territorial lands, waters, air and all its natural resources. That is what it means to be Nuxalk people." United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations, 1994.

On the Nisga'a Agreement – 1999

The purpose of the BC Treaty Process is to settle land claims with First Nations. An example is the Nisga'a agreement about to be signed. This is a model that will be used in settling all future First Nations claims. If you look at a map, you will see the Nisga'a have settled for less than 90 percent of their original territory. Their new drastically reduced territory will about the size of Nuxalknalus (King Island). The BC government dictates to First Nations what areas can be included in any claim. This is to protect third party interests (i.e. Interfor).
In settling their claim, the Nisga'a had to follow a process to reach agreement. For example, interim measures or co management agreements in areas like forestry (silviculture) or fisheries (Aboriginal Fishing Strategy). Interim measure agreements are short term.

Co management is by 50 percent First Nations and 50 percent non aboriginal. They decide on how we are going to manage the resources. During this process other rules are in effect such as no economic disruptions or blockading of any type. Take the example of Nuxalknalus (King Island). If we were in the treaty process, we could not defend ISTA, our Sacred Land. Instead we would have to let Interfor continue clearcut logging our territory. We would have to work cooperately with all third party interests. If these interests were in fishing or logging or with any government department. And this is only part of the Treaty Process. . . Other things we would have to do are in "social development," for instance in mapping out how to solve our issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, and sexual abuse. We would have to start the healing process according to their dictates.

These are examples of what is in the BC Treaty Process. Why do we need to negotiate away land and resources that we already own? Or enter into agreements when we already have rights to hunt and fish without government licenses? We must carefully consider the Nisga'a agreement.

Do we want to settle
the Land Question
this way?

Or do we want to
keep what we
already have?


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