OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 31, 2012) - The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, reported today on progress in British Columbia Treaty Negotiations.
"I am pleased to report we are moving forward with a number of promising BC treaty tables," said Minister Duncan. "In keeping with our commitment to continue to work with willing partners we are making progress in these negotiations that will benefit First Nations and the people of British Columbia. We must continue to focus our energies on making real, timely progress so that First Nation communities can realize the economic benefits that agreements allow."
Canada is in a position to make land and financial offers at several tables including Xwémalhkwu (Homalco), Nazko, Kitselas and Kitsumkalum First Nations. If accepted by the First Nations, these tables will be able to move toward the completion of Agreements-In-Principle (AIPs). AIPs signal the official start of Final Agreement negotiations and bring communities significantly closer to a final treaty.
Through agreement on land and resource ownership, modern treaties create a stable and positive climate for economic investment and development both on Aboriginal lands and in surrounding communities.
Some of the other tables where Canada's concerted efforts have resulted in progress include Tla-o-qui-aht and Namgis First Nation tables. Both First Nations are now working toward completing AIPs.
In addition to the progress detailed above, the Tsawwassen First Nation and the five Maa-nulth First Nations (Ucluelet, Huu-ay-aht, Toquaht, Ka:'yu:'k't'h'/Che:k:tles7et'h' and Uchucklesaht First Nations) are implementing their final agreements. There are also a number of First Nations at or near final agreements and agreements-in-principle including:
- Yale, Sliammon and Lheidli T'enneh First Nations (completed final agreements in various stages of approvals)
- In-SHUCK-ch (Skatin and Samahquam) and Yekooche Nations (nearing final agreements)
- K'omoks First Nation (completed AIP)
- A further 27 First Nations are currently in active treaty negotiations.
September 21st will mark the 20th anniversary of the British Columbia Treaty Process and, together with our First Nation and Provincial partners, we look forward to making greater progress.
Backgrounder - British Columbia Treaty Process.
This statement is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.
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