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HomeNewsLake Babine Nation signs agreement with B.C. and Canada

Lake Babine Nation signs agreement with B.C. and Canada

Lake Babine Nation, Canada, and British Columbia have signed a landmark new reconciliation agreement.

The agreement sets the foundation for a 20-year journey to implement and recognize Lake Babine Nation’s rights and title, leading to greater prosperity, partnership, and economic development that benefits everyone in the region.

“The Foundation Agreement provides real immediate benefits today for our Nation and its members. It also outlines how we will work together to fully enact Aboriginal rights and title,” said Chief Gordon Alec of Lake Babine Nation.

According to a statement, the agreement provides immediate land and financial benefits totaling approximately $200 million, while setting the stage to negotiate further agreements.

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The agreement will provide a roadmap for how Lake Babine Nation and the provincial and federal governments will work together to implement Lake Babine self-governance, boost economic development, collaborate on major land and resource decisions, and promote community health and well-being.

The statement also said it will set out a series of commitments, with both early actions and areas for longer-term work.

“The Foundation Agreement with Lake Babine Nation is ambitious, comprehensive, and puts us all on a path to reconciliation and a better path,” said Premier John Horgan.

It will provide a comprehensive and transformative 20-year vision and framework, according to the province.

“This agreement advances reconciliation, renews our relationship, and breaks down colonial structures. Our work to renew and transform our relationship with Lake Babine Nation based on the affirmation of rights, respect, and partnership helps build a fairer Canada,” said Federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett.

According to a statement, the agreement will increase Lake Babine Nation’s participation in the forestry sector and provide an economic boost for the entire region.

It added funding will also help support and strengthen social program delivery in areas such as children and family services, education and language, and justice programs.

“We are breaking new ground with this agreement, moving beyond the denial of Indigenous rights into a new-government-to-government relationship that fosters transformative change in our relationship with Lake Babine Nation, makes a real difference on the ground for Lake Babine members and brings stability and prosperity to everyone in the regions,” said, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Scott Fraser.

The Foundation Agreement offers an innovative new model for future agreements across B.C. and a concrete example of how the Province and Canada are working with Nations to put the principles of United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into practice, according to the statement.

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