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  NEWS RELEASE 

For Immediate Release

2008OTP0269-001713

Nov. 13, 2008

Office of the Premier

Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

 

FIRST-EVER INCREMENTAL TREATY AGREEMENT REACHED

 


TOFINO – The Province and the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations have achieved an unprecedented incremental treaty agreement (ITA) that will provide benefits to the First Nation and B.C. in advance of a final treaty, Premier Gordon Campbell announced today.

 

             “This first-of-its-kind agreement is an innovative approach that aims at providing real, tangible benefits for First Nations sooner – and fulfils our throne speech commitment to pursue flexible and creative solutions at the negotiating table,” said Premier Campbell. “By providing an opportunity to benefit earlier in the treaty process, this agreement helps build trust, creates incentives to reach further milestones, and provides increased certainty over land and resources for the benefit of all British Columbians.”

 

             “Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations and the Province have worked hard to make this groundbreaking agreement a reality,” said Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister Michael de Jong. “I respect the vision and commitment of all members of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations for being at the forefront of this new way of approaching treaty.”

 

             “Although this is not a final treaty, it is one step towards our ultimate goal of self-determination,” said Chief Francis Frank, Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations. “Our community believes that creating opportunities today will greatly assist our Nation as we plan for the future.”

 

            The Tla-o-qui-aht ITA is a four-year agreement which will transfer approximately 63 hectares of land and provide capacity-building funding totalling $600,000 to the First Nation. These benefits will be considered an advance by British Columbia of a portion of the provincial share of a future treaty settlement package.

 

            The land, comprised of five provincial Crown land parcels located within the District of Tofino, will be transferred to the Tla-o-qui-aht in fee simple and will remain under the jurisdiction of the district. Land parcels will transfer as milestones are reached at the treaty negotiation table.

 

             “The District of Tofino congratulates the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations on the signing of the Incremental Treaty Agreement and looks forward to working together for the benefit of our area and community members,” said John Fraser, mayor of Tofino.

 

            The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations, which represents more than 900 members located on the west coast of central Vancouver Island, is in stage four of the B.C. Treaty Commission’s six-stage treaty process, negotiating an agreement-in-principle.

 

            The government of British Columbia is building a new relationship with First Nations on the principles of mutual respect, recognition and reconciliation. For more information about the New Relationship, visit http://www.gov.bc.ca/arr/.

 

            To see a copy of the Incremental Treaty Agreement visit http://www.gov.bc.ca/arr. To view a map of Crown land parcels related to the Incremental Treaty Agreement between B.C. and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations, visit: http://www.mediaroom.gov.bc.ca/DisplayEventDetails.aspx?eventId=431

 

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 1 backgrounder(s) attached.

 

 

Media

contact:

Bridgitte Anderson

Press Secretary

Office of the Premier

604 307-7177

 

Tewanee Joseph

Media Relations

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations

604 787-8111

 

 

Maria Wilkie

Communications Director

Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

250 953-3211

250 361-7720

 

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