Treaty negotiations for the K'ómoks First Nation began in 1994. File photo

K’ómoks Treaty passes another milestone

For thousands of years K’ómoks ancestors harvested, preserved and stored rich food resources. Once the Treaty is concluded, their descendants will be able to live off their territory as part of a modern and sustainable economy.

The K’ómoks Nation has just passed one more milestone towards signing a treaty with British Columbia and Canada with the land and cash offer presented to the K’ómoks Treaty team on Nov. 2.

This offer will be carefully reviewed in confidence and eventually put to a vote of Nation members.

Once negotiations are complete, and the full treaty package is ratified by all three parties, the treaty will likely come into effect in 2026.

The signing would bring to a close 30 years of negotiation and give the Nation the opportunity to transform from an Indian Act Band into a self-sufficient and self-governing Nation.

The terms of the treaty will provide new land and access to new resources, attracting new investment that will benefit the entire territory.

“The land and cash offer comes after 28 long years of negotiations, and seeing it finally come to our membership who will determine the way forward is exciting,” said Nicole Rempel, K’ómoks Nation Chief. “I know we are ready to begin building the future our ancestors dreamed for us, to build a strong foundation for future generations.

“That is ultimately who this treaty is for. By negotiating for this treaty, we look to uplift our Nation, but also create opportunities and prosperity for all those residing within our traditional territory.”

“This land and cash offer presented to K’ómoks First Nation represents a major step forward towards improvements in housing, economic opportunity and advancing self-determination,” said Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells. “The City of Courtenay congratulates K’ómoks First Nation and commits to our ongoing partnerships while looking for opportunities to support their vision as they continue this exciting path to reconciliation.”

The benefits of the treaty will be felt with new residential developments to help alleviate the housing crisis, job-creating investment in new businesses, and new water and sewage infrastructure to certain K’ómoks Treaty settlement lands.

And with fewer than 500 members to manage a substantial amount of land, there will be new opportunities for all as economic development progresses at a faster pace.

It will also be done with care. The K’ómoks Nation has been the steward of these lands since time immemorial, and together with its government partners, will continue to ensure development happens in a respectful and responsible way.

This act of reconciliation will help us all move forward together as neighbours with a shared future.

“This is a monumental step forward towards reconciliation in action,” said Comox Mayor Nicole Minions. “It will provide K’ómoks First Nation with sustainable resources to continue to build their community into a strong regional partner in the Comox Valley. As the incoming Mayor of Comox, I want to personally stand as an ally through the process and extend sincere gratitude for those who brought this agreement forward.”

The K’ómoks Treaty will be the first of its kind and will be known as “a living agreement” that will be reviewed every 10 years and amended where necessary to evolve with the ever-changing world.

“I would like to wish the K’omoks Nation all the best through these last stages of this monumental and long-awaited Treaty and congratulate them on their years of hard work to build this first ‘living agreement,” said Cumberland Mayor-elect Vickey Brown. “We look forward to working in partnership with K’omoks to continue to support a healthy and vibrant local economy, that includes a healthy traditional food system and resilient and sustainable land and resource development. And we are grateful for their care for these lands over thousands of years.”

ComoxFirst Nations

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