The Northern Shuswap Tribal Council Board of Directors is encouraged with Friday’s signing of Incremental Treaty Agreements between the Province of BC and the NStQ.
Four Northern Shuswap First Nation bands represented by the NStQ Treaty Group are currently negotiating a modern-day treaty with the Governments of BC and Canada, with an Agreement-in-Principle referendum coming up on Thursday.
The Incremental Treaty Agreements provide for the transfer of up to 3,760 hectares of Crown lands to the Canim Lake Band, Canoe Creek/Dog Creek Band, Soda Creek Band, and Williams Lake Band.
“The lands identified by the NStQ communities have historical and cultural importance for our people. The signing of the incremental treaty agreements provide each of our communities with the opportunity to immediately reclaim lands that we have been isolated from for many years”, said Donna Dixon – Chair of Northern Shuswap Tribal Council Board of Directors and Xats’ūll First Nation Chief (Soda Creek).
“The purpose of identifying these lands has been to support job creation, future planning and economic development, while giving us renewed access to lands that had sustained our community for generations. NStQ First Nation communities are hopeful and encouraged by the fact that we can begin to move toward positive progress now, prior to reaching a final treaty agreement.”
The lands will be transferred in two phases with Phase 1 occurring after NStQ community members successfully endorse their treaty Agreement-in-Principle and approve proceeding to Final Agreement negotiations.
A press release further highlighting the historic agreement is available here.