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

Rescued snowmobilers ill-prepared for emergency, Castlegar RCMP say

Two men rescued Wednesday night were not ready for overnight in back country

Senior curling provincials setting up for exciting finish

Standings tight as Senior curling teams push for provincial playoffs

Police share more details on occupants and suspicious van in Fruitvale

Vehicle in question offered young girl a ride to school on Feb. 19

B.C. Interior free from measles

Vancouver measles outbreak hasn’t spread to the B.C. Interior

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Most Read