VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 22, 2012) - The Treaty Commission strongly supports the decision by Sliammon First Nation to proceed with the treaty ratification vote by its members.
"This is the right decision," said Chief Commissioner Sophie Pierre. "A small group of people should not be allowed to take away the right of the Sliammon people to make their own decision about their treaty at the ballot box."
A major concern of the Treaty Commission is the protection of the Sliammon people as they go to vote on July 10.
"We hope everyone will respect their right to vote and will not interfere with that right," said Commissioner Jerry Lampert, the treaty commission's representative in Sliammon negotiations.
The Treaty Commission has just completed a tour of 11 First Nation communities to see why many First Nations believe a treaty is the right tool for reconciliation. The First Nation leaders say they will have the tools to make the changes that are necessary to make life better for their people - self government, land, resources and capital. Where agreements have been ratified large numbers of First Nations people have voted in favour of those agreements.
The Sliammon treaty vote was suspended June 16 by the ratification committee representing the three negotiating parties when it became clear the entrance to the polling station would remain blocked.
About the BC Treaty Commission
The Treaty Commission is the independent body responsible for overseeing treaty negotiations among the governments of Canada, BC and First Nations in BC. It has three roles: facilitation, funding, and public information and education. Visit www.bctreaty.ca to learn more about the Treaty Commission.