Tag Archives: BC Assembly of First Nations

Legislative amendments would allow First Nations to own land

Editor’s Note: When British Columbia seized control of the traditional territories of the Homalco, Klahoose, Tla’amin, We Wai Kai, Wei Wai Kum and most of the other First Nations in the province, they were pushed onto tiny parcels whose title was held by the Crown (reserves). According to the Pulling Together: Foundations Guide (2018):

  • “First Nations people were not consulted when reserves were created. They did not give consent.
  • They were not compensated for the lands that were taken from them.
  • Since their creation, reserves have been moved and reduced and their resources have been taken – all without compensation for First Nations.
  • Until as recently as 1958, people living on reserve needed written permission from the Indian Agent in order to leave the reserve for any reason.”

A report prepared for the BC Assembly of First Nations in 2023 states 35% of BC’s Indigenous population currently live on reserves.

By Alexandra Mehl, Ha-Shilth-Sa, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Victoria, BC – In early April the provincial government introduced legislative amendments to the B.C. Land Title and Property Law Act, that, if passed, will remove barriers for First Nation bands to acquire, hold and register land.

“Many people in Canada do not know that First Nations could not own land in the province of British Columbia,” said Hugh Braker of the First Nations Summit. “Many people don’t know that in British Columbia, other provinces and in the federal system there are still laws that discriminate against Indigenous people that are founded in racism.”

This year marks 150 years since the establishment of the B.C. Land Act which “explicitly forbid First Nation individuals from having interests in land,” said Murray Rankin, minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.

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Jody Wilson-Raybould awarded Order of B.C. for being ‘a force for change’

National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Jody Wilson-Raybould is among 14 outstanding British Columbians awarded the province’s highest honour on Monday for exceptional contributions to society. 

The Order of British Columbia is often granted in the twilight of an illustrious career, but Wilson-Raybould, Canada’s first federal Indigenous justice minister and twice-elected regional chief of the BC Assembly of First Nations, is just hitting her stride as she continues to be a force for reconciliation in Canada. 

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‘It’s not over by a long stretch’: Residential school survivors await Pope Francis’ visit to Canada this month

By Melissa Renwick, Ha-Shilth-Sa, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Pope Francis is set to tour three regions in Canada between July 24 and 29 on what is being called a historic journey of “healing and reconciliation.”

Earlier this year at the Vatican, the Pope apologized to Indigenous representatives from across Canada for “the deplorable behaviour” of members of the Catholic Church who caused harm to Indigenous communities through the residential school system.

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RoseAnne Archibald to reveal documents to BC chiefs of alleged corrupt practices at AFN, she says

By Sheri Narine, Windspeaker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

It’s been a “challenging” 10 days, says RoseAnne Archibald in an extensive interview with Windspeaker.com conducted June 25.

The first woman leader of the largest, best-funded Indigenous organization in the country may or may not have been suspended from her position as national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, but Monday she meets with chiefs in British Columbia, at their invitation, and says she’ll present them with documented evidence of alleged corruption at the AFN.

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New report recommends that BC First Nations gain control of mining in Indigenous territory

By Jacob Cardinal, Alberta Native News, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

(ANNews) – In an effort to proactively reclaim sovereignty over their territories in British Columbia, the BC First Nations Energy and Mining Council (FNEMC) released a new report — supported by the Union of BC Indian Chiefs and the BC Assembly of First Nations — demanding the right to exercise sovereignty and consent in relation to mining activities in the province. 

 The Indigenous Sovereignty: Implementing Consent for Mining on Indigenous Lands report sets out 25 recommendations which, if implemented, would compel mining companies and prospectors to secure the approval of First Nation governments in order to obtain consent-based access to First Nations’ lands.

 They would further be required to agree and abide by conditions set by those First Nations governments.

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