The Government of Canada has forgiven over 32 million dollars in accumulated negotiation debt for four Secwepemc communities.
The funds were part of a comprehensive land claim negotiation loan that the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council agreed to take on when they entered the BC Treaty process 26 years ago.
In a letter to the Northern Shuswap Treaty Society, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Carolyn Bennett says she hopes that the forgiveness of this debt demonstrates this commitment in a concrete way and will enhance financial stability and enable their community to improve access to funding”.
In a release yesterday (Monday), NSTQ spokesperson, Dog Creek-Canoe Creek Chief Patrick harry said “To finally see the day when real progress is being made would have meant a great deal to the elders who have worked toward self-government. This opens a new chapter for our members and places the NstQ one step closer to breaking free from the Indian Act”.
The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw is comprised of the four Secwepemc communities Tsq’escen’ (Canim Lake), T’exelc (Williams Lake), Stswecem’c-Xgat’em (Dog Creek-Canoe Creek), and Xat’sull-Cmetem (Soda Creek-Deep Creek).
The Nations of the NStQ are in the fifth stage of treaty negotiations with the Province of BC and the Government of Canada.