Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

August 03, 2011 17:41 ET

Canada Ready to Take Next Important Step in the BC Treaty Process With Sliammon First Nation

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 3, 2011) - Canada announced today that it has concluded its internal review and will be moving to initial the Sliammon Final Agreement with the Sliammon (Tla'amin) First Nation and the province of British Columbia. This is an important step towards a treaty that will bring economic and social benefits to the First Nation and all people in the Powell River region.

"Our government recognizes the importance of this treaty to the Sliammon First Nation and remains firmly committed to the treaty process. We have completed an internal review that will ensure a draft Final Agreement will meet the best interests of all parties," said the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. "We look forward to initialling this agreement in the near future and taking this important next step within the BC Treaty Process with Sliammon First Nation and the province of British Columbia."

"The Sliammon Final Agreement is the end result of a long hard fought negotiation," said Clint Williams, Chief of the Sliammon First Nation. "The agreement contains new assets and authorities and represents important changes for the Sliammon people. Initialing of the agreement will allow a ratification vote to proceed, and it is now rightfully in the hands of the Sliammon community to make a very historic decision."

"Congratulations to Chief Clint Williams and his community as they move closer to attaining a treaty for their people," said Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Mary Polak. "I know how much this means to Sliammon First Nation, and share their desire to see this treaty initialled as soon as possible. I visited the community in July and heard directly from Sliammon members how important this treaty is to them and their future."

The Sliammon Final Agreement will provide certainty with respect to Sliammon's Aboriginal rights and title throughout its traditional territory. It will also provide opportunities for the First Nation to increase its participation in the regional economy.

Through self-government, treaty First Nations exercise authority over matters integral to their community, such as health, education, and child welfare. Self-government may also include authority to raise revenues, to manage lands and resources on lands, and to negotiate with other governments on such matters as joint service delivery and economic development.

The next step is the initialling of the agreement by the chief negotiators from all parties, followed by the ratification of the agreement by eligible First Nation members. If approved by Sliammon First Nation, legislation will be introduced in the provincial legislature and federal parliament to bring the Final Agreement into effect.

Sliammon First Nation entered the BC treaty process in May, 1994. In 2003, Sliammon and the governments of BC and Canada signed an Agreement-in-Principle, laying the foundation for final agreement negotiations. Sliammon First Nation has approximately 1,000 members. Their traditional territory and reserve lands are located just north of Powell River. There are six reserves on just over 1,907 hectares.

For more information about Sliammon First Nation, and treaties in B.C. and Canada, and photos available for download please visit these websites:

http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca

http://www.gov.bc.ca/arr

http://www.sliammonfirstnation.com

Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Michelle Yao
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Honourable John Duncan
    819-997-0002

    Media Relations
    Aboriginal Affairs and Northern
    Development Canada
    819 953-1160

    Grace Adams
    Sliammon First Nation
    Negotiations Manager
    604 483-8146 (cell)

    Maria Wilkie
    Director, Communications
    Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
    250 953-3211