The B.C. government and the Tsilhqot’in Nation have signed a historic accord named Nenqay Deni Accord or the “People’s Accord.”
Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation John Rustad says the Accord is a first of its’ kind.
“It’s quite historic of course with the Tsilhqot’in and it really will base on we support social and cultural values and how we try to resolve some longstanding issues of education and justice and other issues in the community, but most importantly how can we build a sustainable economic base.”
Joint negotiating tables comprised of senior provincial staff and Tsilhqot’in representatives will be established to make progress in all of the Accord’s eight pillars of reconciliation including Tsilhqot’in culture and language, children and families, healthy communities, justice, education and training, lands and resources and economic development while the longer-term negotiations unfold.
“In signing this agreement we are asking B.C. to commit to improving the lives of the Tsilhqot’in people. Our vision is to build the strength of the Nation, to match the strength of our ?Esggidam (ancestors),” says Chief Roger William-vice Chair of the Tsilhqot’in National Government.
“To us, this agreement is about building our people up from a history of injustice.”
Within the five-year agreement, there will be considerable opportunity for the Province and the Tsilhqot’in to conduct broader community and stakeholder engagement.
Crown land within the Tsilhqot’in territory will be part of the negotiation with no private lands involved.