Five First Nations in BC, alongside provincial and federal government representatives, announced settlement agreements of the Nations’ Treaty Land Entitlements claims.
The settlements resolve long-standing claims that these First Nations did not receive all the lands owed to them under Treaty 8, signed in 1899.
The settlements were announced by Judy Desjarlais, Chief of Blueberry River First Nations; Trevor Makadahay, Chief of Doig River First Nation; Darlene Hunter, Chief of Halfway River First Nation; Justin Napoleon, Chief of Saulteau First Nations; and Roland Willson, Chief of West Moberly First Nations; along with Marc Miller, federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations; BC Premier David Eby; and Murray Rankin, BC Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.
Honouring Treaty and legal obligations to First Nations and working collaboratively to renew relationships are fundamental to addressing historical wrongs and advancing reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples in Canada. These settlements will also create economic and business opportunities for the entire northeastern region of British Columbia.
“It has been a long hard journey to get us here to this point today. We’re thankful to finally be able to move into implementation. Thanks to those who worked diligently on this historic claim, including previous Chiefs, Councils, Elders, members and legal teams,” said Chief Roland Willson, West Moberly First Nations in a statement.
The resolution of these Treaty Land Entitlement claims is the result of the dedicated effort by the Chiefs, Councils, communities and negotiators since 2004.
“The settling of the Treaty Land Entitlement claim is an historic step toward reconciliation in the Peace River area and will help build healthy communities and prosperous, thriving economies. Honouring Treaty 8 will bring benefits to everyone who lives in the northeast,” added Murray Rankin, BC’s Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.