British Columbia Treaty Commission

British Columbia Treaty Commission

February 28, 2011 18:54 ET

Treaty Commission Asks New Premier to Commit to Treaties

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 28, 2011) - Continue the BC government's commitment and creativity on treaty and First Nation issues, the Treaty Commission will advise Premier Designate Christy Clark.

"We will be looking for a strong signal the BC government will maintain their commitment to treaties and First Nation issues," said Chief Commissioner Sophie Pierre.

"The BC government's financial commitment to the treaty process and First Nation issues has been strong," notes Pierre. "We can build on the momentum we have gained in treaty negotiations over the past two years, and on the good prospects for agreements."

Essential to the overall economic recovery and to the future well being of the province are the benefits that can be achieved through treaties. An independent financial analysis shows the entire province will benefit from completed treaties.

The Treaty Commission has asked the provincial government to stay the course in developing interim solutions such as incremental treaty agreements, reconciliation frameworks and recognition initiatives. These agreements can bring immediate benefits to First Nation communities.

"It is important to continue the work on revenue sharing and shared decision making with First Nations while maintaining a strong focus on achieving treaties," said Pierre. 

The Treaty Commission expects both the provincial and the federal governments to give priority to First Nation issues and treaty negotiations this year. "We will ask for that assurance from governments," said Pierre.

The Treaty Commission has been encouraging all governments to make treaty completion a priority and First Nations to resolve their territorial issues and prepare for self government. Yale First Nation and Sliammon First Nation are preparing for ratification votes by their members. As well, several First Nations are moving to conclude agreements in principle.

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. For more information please visit bctreaty.net.

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