WILLIAMS LAKE, B.C. – Leader of the first indigenous Canadian group that won the title on its territory, says that the updated agreement that he runs with the federal government is part of a new model of relations between Ottawa and the First Nations.
Chief Joe Alphonse, chairman of the tribal council of the National Government Tsilhqot & # 39; in, said the agreement was to be signed in the spring, and outlined the financial relationship between Canada and the six first Nations, which his council represents in the central interior of British Columbia.
Alphonse said previous financing models, which he described as "marginal", no longer apply, because claims for the ownership of the Tsilhqot & # 39; in site were formally recognized by the courts.
"We have proven rights and proved the title, so the funding formula is not right for Tsilhqot & # 39; that Canada has to come up with a new formula." And everything we do will be the new standard for the First Nations nationwide, so it's so important to the government established it and showed leadership and showed goodwill, "he said.
Alphonse said negotiations are just beginning and they can not put a price on the value of the deal, but he said it would be subject to approval by the federal tax committee.
This agreement will be the next step to determine the relationship between Canada and Tsilhqot & # 39; in – he said.
The Supreme Court of Canada recognized Aboriginal rights to the title for the first time in Canadian history in the homeland of the Tsilhqot & # 39; in people in 2014. It covers over 1750 square kilometers of land in the Chilcotin region.
While Crown historically acquired land from many First Nations nationwide, signing treaties, only 14 agreements on the island of Vancouver have been signed by B.C. they joined the Confederation in 1871, and the Aboriginal title of the rest of the province remained unresolved.
The process of negotiating Aboriginal land rights was established in 1992. Under the agreement of the provincial government, the federal government and the United Nations summit.
Some First Nations are in the process of negotiating modern treaties, but Tsilhqot & # 39; in did not conclude the treaty when it won a groundbreaking case.
The BC Treaty Commission, which is the independent body responsible for facilitating treaty negotiations, argues that the Canadian courts have repeatedly recommended negotiations on litigation, which does not mean consent.
"Litigation is expensive, generally narrowly targeted, time-consuming and ultimately leaves the question of how rights and copyright title apply – no answer," he reports on his website.
The case of Tsilhqot & # 39; in shows that although treaty negotiations take time, the trial process has not proved to be a faster way to reconciliation.
However, in January 2017, the six chiefs of the tribal council of Tsilhqot & # 39; in signed a memorandum of understanding with the federal government, defining a shared vision of a reconciliation agreement.
The priority areas of the agreement include the closing of "deep gaps" in education, healthcare and psychiatry, housing, infrastructure and access to clean water; establishing new fiscal relations based on stable, predictable and flexible financing; and the recognition and implementation of the principles and laws of Tsilhqot & # 39; u.
Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited the country's homeland in the Nemaiah Valley, about three hours west of Williams Lake, in the state of Carolina, to apologize directly to community members for hanging the six heads of Tsilhqot & # 39; in over 150 years ago.
"I know this is just the beginning, there is still a lot of work ahead of us," he told the crowd who had gathered in connection with the apology.
"Canada is fully committed to recognizing Tsilhqot & # 39; in and its right to manage and self-determination." As I told your leaders, we are determined to work until spring of 2019 to work on a more comprehensive management agreement to support you on your behalf the path to self-determination. "
During the ceremony, Trudeau signed the "Pathways Agreement", which Alphonse said it covered short-term financing of some homes in the title land and outlined a commitment to work on long-term financing.
"One of the biggest problems in our community today is the housing crisis, I have 140 homes in my community, and probably about 60 percent of my population lives from the reserve, many of whom want to go home," said Alphonse.
Alphonse said it is important that Trudeau travel through the title areas and see the conditions in which some residents live. Tsilhqot & # 39; in did not fight in court for the title so that he could separate himself from Canada, he said, but so that he can have a more formal relationship with him, which also recognizes the power of the nation.
"The great fear that signing agreements and strengthening relations with indigenous people weakens this country, I think that this is a backwardness of thinking. Developing with us partnership relations between nations, we can jointly implement projects in an honorary way and actually let Canada develop in a way as never seen, "he said.