BC signed a five year accord with the Tsilhqot’in Nation

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMIt has been almost two years since the Supreme Court of Canada recognized  Aboriginal title in the caretaker area of the Xeni Gwet’in, one of six Tsilhqot’in communities. In item 153 of that decision, it says ” … British Columbia breached its duty to consult owed to the  Tsilhqot’in through land use planning and forestry authorizations.” Now, as the first step towards a lasting settlement,  BC signed a five year accord with the Tsilhqot’in Nation.

BC signed a five year accord with the Tsilhqot’in Nation

Schedule A - Map of the Tsilhqot'in Territory from the NENQAY DENI ACCORD:
Schedule A – Map of the Tsilhqot’in Territory from the NENQAY DENI ACCORD:

The  Nenqay Deni Accord (or the “People’s Accord”) outlines the components to be negotiated:  Tsilhqot’in culture and language; children and families; healthy communities; justice; education and training; lands and resources; and economic development.

There also be an agreement on the amount of crown land to be transferred to Tsilhqot’in management and control.

“This is progress toward greater certainty on the land base and toward lasting reconciliation. Title has been awarded in part of the traditional territory and this framework agreement supports the practical application of enacting title, sets the conditions for further land use negotiations and sets us on a strong path to reconciliation between our governments,” said John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation”

A key focus is going to be supporting new economic development for the Tsilhqot’in communities that also makes a positive contribution to the economies of the region and British Columbia,” said Premier Christy Clark.

“This is a historic step, but it is only a first step. We view this agreement as a guide for further negotiations. It will provide us with durable resources that will be used to chart a culturally relevant and prideful path for our people – a path that understands the necessity of holding the Tsilhqot’in up, honouring our past and recognizing our future,” said Chief Joe Alphonse – Tribal Chairman, Tsilhqot’in National Government.

The First Step

There has been no agreement since the Europeans arrived.

Premier Christy Clark and Chief Joe Alphonse - Courtesy Province of British Columbia
Premier Christy Clark and Chief Joe Alphonse – Courtesy Province of British Columbia

Two years ago Premier Christy Clark apologized for the wrongful hangings of six war chiefs who attempted to negotiate a peace ending the Chilcotin (Tsilhqot’in) War of 1864.

“This is the first stepping stone in making alliances – in seeing if B.C. is willing and able to make the changes that we as Tsilhqot’in need to see. In signing this agreement we are asking B.C. to commit to improving the lives of the Tsilhqot’in people. Our vision is to build the strength of the Nation, to match the strength of our ?Esggidam (ancestors),” added  Chief Roger William, Vice Chair of the Tsilhqot’in National Government.

“Our people will ultimately have the authority on any agreements that are negotiated out of this. We call on our members, our citizens, to be fully engaged in shaping their future as Tsilhqot’in. Title to our land was recognized – we won that fight, but the larger fight – the fight for peace – that’s the work ahead of us,” said Chief Alphonse.

2 thoughts on “BC signed a five year accord with the Tsilhqot’in Nation”

  1. This is garbage. The Charlieboy writ circles so much shuswap land, it’s ridiculous. There are so many pithouses in that scheduled A land and only the shuswaps used pithouses. The chilcotins made fun of the shuswap for “living in the dirt”. They went ahead with this accord without even consulting any of the shuswap bands that have soi’s in that area.

  2. It’s time to stop with all these settlements in the hinterland. The best way to cover all the bases is to do the complicated cases.

    The areas with only loggers and miners and a few hunters wandering around are too easy. Those guys are all bad anyway, chopping down trees for your house and digging holes for metal for your cars and shooting bambi.

    I think it’s time for the settlements for Vancouver and Victoria get done. I’d like to see all the urban supporters of native self government in BC live under the protocols set out by native title.

    The Nass was a piece of cake. The Chilcotin was just about as easy.

    It’s time Kitsilano was turned over to the Squamish Nation as they currently contend ownership. It’s time the Parliament buildings come under the Pauquachin Nation. The Musqueams get Point Grey, the Semiahmoos get Surrey and the Tsawwassens get well, Tsawwassen.

    After all, there is such support in Victoria and Vancouver for the tragic injustices done 150 years ago and taking of 1st nations land, it’s only fair to give your urban land back just as you support giving back the rest of the province. Let’s get it right in the Vancouver/Victoria. Then do the hinterland. It would be a snap. Right? Sure.

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