Canada, B.C., Lheidli T’enneh initial Treaty
May 5, 2018 - Prince George, BC - Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, Lheidli T’enneh First Nation
Today, negotiators for the Government of Canada, the Government of British Columbia, and the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation initialled the Lheidli T’enneh Treaty in Prince George. This event is a necessary step before the Lheidli T’enneh ratification vote in June.
The Parties have updated the 2006 Final Agreement, including changing the name of the agreement to the Lheidli T’enneh Treaty. The name change reflects evolving federal and provincial approaches to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
The treaty maintains all of the original benefits of the 2006 agreement. New wording in the Treaty also allows the agreement to evolve along with certain Provincial and Federal policies related to reconciliation and treaty negotiations.
The Lheidli T’enneh Treaty provides for a capital transfer of $37.1 million, which represents an additional $20.8 million to Lheidli T’enneh compared to the 2006 agreement. This increase reflects updated policies that support reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
The Lheidli T’enneh Treaty exemplifies Canada and British Columbia’s commitment to renewing the relationship with Lheidli T’enneh based on respect, cooperation and partnership.
“This historic treaty, once ratified by all parties, marks the start of a new relationship between Canada and the Lheidli T’enneh – one based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. When First Nations have more say over their lands, their people and all of Canada benefit. Canada will continue to support Lheidli T’enneh throughout a transition to treaty and beyond.”
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs
“New language in the Lheidli T’enneh Treaty presents a positive path forward to guide our government-to-government relationship into the future, and reflects our interest in advancing treaties beyond the restrictions seen in past decades. We are working together with partners on an approach to treaties and agreements with First Nations that is grounded in recognition and implementation of rights and title, and which supports prosperous, healthy and self-determining Indigenous communities.”
The Honourable Scott Fraser
Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
“Through the treaty, we’re going to govern ourselves. Our traditional rights will be protected and we will own our land. We will build an economy and stand side by side with our neighbours in our territory. With the treaty, we’re moving forward, without it we’re stuck,” said Dominic Frederick, Chief of Lheidli T’enneh First Nation.
Chief of Lheidli T’enneh First Nation
Lheidli T’enneh members will be able to vote on the treaty and Constitution through an electronic ballot, a mail-in ballot, or in person. Polling stations will be held in Vancouver and Prince George in June, 2018.
Ratifying the Lheidli T’enneh treaty requires approval by 50 per cent plus one of all Lheidli T’enneh eligible voters, followed by approval by the B.C. Legislative Assembly, and finally by the Parliament of Canada.
The treaty provides Lheidli T'enneh with rights and benefits regarding land and resources, and self-government. Terms include:
4,330 hectares of treaty settlement lands, known as Lheidli T’enneh Lands;
$37.10 million capital transfer;
$502,000 per year for 50 years in resource revenue sharing (indexed to inflation);
$2.29 million per year in ongoing funding for services such as health, education and social development, and for governance activities (indexed to inflation);
$15 million in one-time funding for implementation, fisheries and capacity building;
$1.69 million in one-time funding for an economic development fund;
$100,000 annually for a community development officer;
The treaty protects the rights of Lheidli T’enneh citizens to hunt, fish and gather throughout defined traditional harvest areas.
Approximately 1,183 hectares of Lheidli T’enneh Lands would be located within the City of Prince George. Lheidli T’enneh is working with the City and the Regional District to develop a planning agreement.
British Columbia and Canada will continue to consult with neighbouring Indigenous groups.
Lheidli T’enneh Treaty Communications and Research Analyst
Lheidli T’enneh First Nation
Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
Director of Communications and Issues Management
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
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