After nearly two years of waiting anxiously since the work on the Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw (NStQ) Agreement-in-Principle (AiP) was completed, the NStQ Treaty Negotiator and entire treaty team is optimistic and encouraged with Thursday’s initialling of the Agreement-in-Principle.
“I would like to congratulate the NStQ on the initialing of their Agreement in Principle. A great deal of work by their treaty team, along with extensive consultation with membership over many years, has brought NStQ to this historic day,” stated Robert Phillips of the First Nations Summit Task Group in a press release.
“I look forward to the day when the hard work and challenges of negotiations between Canada, BC and NStQ result in the successful ratification of an NStQ Treaty that will positively impact community members with a prosperous, self-governing future.”
The four Northern Shuswap First Nations of the NStQ Treaty Group-Canim Lake Indian Band (Tsq’escen’ First Nation), Soda Creek Indian Band (Xat’sūll First Nation), Williams Lake Indian Band (T’exelc First Nation), and Canoe Creek/Dog Creek Indian Band (Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation) have been negotiating a modern-day treaty with the Governments of British Columbia and Canada since 1993.
After the completion of the AiP, a referendum was held in each of the four NStQ communities in February and April of this year, with a narrow membership majority positively voting to move forward into Final Negotiations (Stage Five) of the six-stage treaty process, which now continues into its 24th year.
-Files from Northern Shuswap Tribal Council