South coast treaty going to local vote

More than a year after negotiators finished their work, the federal government has formally approved a treaty with the Tla'amin Nation.

With negotiators looking on

More than a year after negotiators finished their work, the federal government has formally approved a treaty with the Tla’amin Nation north of Powell River on B.C.’s south coast.

A majority vote by about 1,000 people in the reserve community, previously known as Sliammon, would clear the way for B.C.’s fifth modern-day treaty agreement. The fourth, with the Yale First Nation in the Fraser Canyon, still awaits approval by the House of Commons before taking effect.

The Tla’amin treaty includes 6,405 hectares of provincial Crown land, added to the community’s original six reserves totalling 1,917 hectares. Ottawa is to provide $29.7 million over 10 years, plus economic development funding of $6.9 million and a fishing vessel fund of $250,000 for participation in commercial fisheries.

As with other treaties, Tla’amin settlement lands would convert to fee simple ownership and the Indian Act would no longer apply. The agreement also includes transfer of two small properties., one near the Powell River ferry dock and another on Savary Island, both subject to local land use rules.

Mary Polak, B.C.’s minister of aboriginal relations, said Ottawa’s long delay in moving the Tla’amin treaty forward is one of the holdups recently criticized by the B.C. Treaty Commission. Chief Commissioner Sophie Pierre said earlier this month that if federal negotiators aren’t given enough authority to reach agreements in a reason, governments should consider winding up a process that is nearly 20 years along with more than a billion dollars spent on negotiations alone.

The Tla’amin treaty would release 471 hectares of Crown land from the agricultural land reserve, a provision that proved controversial in the Tsawwassen treaty. Polak said the land in question is forested and has never been farmed.

Since the Nisga’a treaty was reached outside the treaty commission process in 2000, the commission has facilitated agreements with Tsawwassen First Nation in the Lower Mainland, Maa-Nulth First Nations group on Vancouver Island, the Yale First Nation and the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation near Prince George. A majority of Lheidli T’enneh members rejected their agreement in 2007.

The 220-member Yekooche First Nation in northwestern B.C. has finalized a treaty, but is waiting for federal approval of its fishing rights.

The In-SHUCK-ch Nation near Harrison Lake also reached agreement in 2009, but one of its three communities withdrew and the other two are attempting to proceed.

Just Posted

SD91 and UNBC held a workshop where students discussed community stressors

Youth voices are important and need to be heard, says UNBC researcher

Fort St. James gets a new CAO

Melany Helmer comes with years of senior management experience

Northwest mobile unit to help those at heart of mental health, addiction crisis

Province, Northern Health unveils new unit in Terrace to bridge gaps in services

Move natural gas pipeline, MP suggests

Coastal GasLink could then avoid opposition

VIDEO: The ‘most cosmopolitan’ of butterflies could migrate to B.C.

The painted lady butterfly will likely arrive this summer from Southern California

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

COLUMN: Smart phone too powerful a tool to yank from students’ hands

Rather than ban them from schools, let’s teach kids to harness their phone’s power and use it properly

Most Read