Five First Nations in Northeastern BC and the Provincial and Federal Governments have announced settlement agreements of the Nations’ Treaty Land Entitlements Claims.
According to the province, these settlements resolve long-standing claims that these First Nations didn’t receive all the lands owed to them under Treaty 8, signed in 1899.
The First Nations included in the settlement are the Blueberry River First Nations, Doig River First Nations, Halfway River First Nations, Saulteau First Nations, and the West Moberly First Nations.
Under the settlement agreements, Canada will provide the First Nations compensation for these losses and costs relating to the claims.
In addition to monetary compensation from the federal government, approximately 44,266 hectares of Crown land will be provided to the First Nations by the province.
“We have overcome many significant challenges and obstacles through almost two decades of negotiations to achieve fair compensation from the Crown for our Treaty Land Entitlement claim,” said Chief Judy Desjarlais of the Blueberry River First Nations.
“We still have a long way to go, but in the spirit of truth, transparency and reconciliation, we are setting a path for the next seven generations to be able to continue our traditional and cultural way of life on the land our ancestors were from, which they called: ‘Su Nachii K’chige’ – the place where happiness dwells.”
“Honouring Treaty 8 is a critical part of B.C.’s work to advance reconciliation in the Peace River area and reconnect these Nations with their land,” said Premier David Eby.
“By settling the Treaty Land Entitlement claims, we’re righting an historic injustice and restoring what was promised under Treaty. This is an important step that will provide greater predictability and economic opportunities for everyone in the region.”