Rights & Tenure in the News »
British Columbia moves forward ‘New Relationship’ with First Nations
In recent provincial elections, British Columbia premier Gordon Campbell of the BC Liberal party was reelected to the province’s highest governing post. A central component to Campbell’s campaign platform was to foster a ‘new relationship’ with the First Peoples of the region. In his biography on the BC liberals website, he is described as hoping to build “…a New Relationship with First Nations People and invested record amounts in closing the social and economic gaps between aboriginals and non aboriginals that have persisted for generations.”
The underlying document, the New Relationship, is based on the government’s goals of renewing, strengthening, and revitalizing First Nations communities. It proposes new processes and structures for working together on decisions regarding the use of land and resources. It also discusses the possibility of revenue-sharing to reflect Aboriginal rights and title interests and to assist First Nations with economic development.
In a joint statement from the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, First Nations Summit and BC Assembly of First Nations applaud the Premier for his commitment to positive legislation that will reaffirm indigenous lands and livelihoods.
“Not only will the legislation provide for the recognition of Aboriginal rights and title by the Province without requiring proof or strength of claim, it will help pave the way for long-term economic certainty and stability, based on sustainable practices and joint decision making.
The legislation will also facilitate the re-building of Indigenous Nations and will make it clear that First Nations and not the Province will be responsible for and determining what constitutes an Indigenous Nation.
We must remember that the legislation will not change the past, but it will create a better future by allowing us to move away from systemic, institutionalized denial of Aboriginal rights to full recognition of those rights in law.
We are confident the election of Premier Campbell and his government will make that goal a reality.”
• increase partnerships and bring certainty to the land base in B.C.;
• establish a flexible framework to avoid the costly and lengthy litigation that has too often characterized relations with First Nations in the past;
• ensure constitutional or common law on rights and title remain unchanged;
• not affect Crown-granted interest on the land; including fee-simple and tenures; and
• will not provide First Nations with automatic veto authority for land projects and economic developments.
Posted By Lopaka Purdy at 5:31pm on June 02, 2009
This blog may contain links to external websites. These links should not be construed as endorsements by Rights and Resources of the content present. They are provided for informational purposes only.