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

Supports service tax helping homeless in Courtenay

Latest count indicates greater number of homeless seniors

Associate pastor made early connections in Courtenay

Central Evangelical Free Church opens at former Record office

Seeing double, the trials and tribulations of twins

BIG READ: Three Vancouver Island mothers share their experiences with multiple births

Comox Valley teen with autism a spectacular guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in Port Alice exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

Lions earn stunning 35-32 OT win over Ticats

Epic comeback lifts B.C. past Hamilton in CFL thriller

Czarnik nets 3 as Flames dump Canucks 5-2

Calgary picks up exhibition win over Vancouver

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

B.C. deaf community wants different sign languages on federal accessibility act

Advocates also want Indigenous Sign Language to be recognized on the Indigenous Language Act

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

Most Read