Tla’amin treaty takes effect today

proxy.jpegproxy.jpegToday at 12:01 a.m., the Tla’amin Final Agreement came into effect, ushering in a new era for the Tla’amin people as a self-governing First Nation, equipped with the tools and authority to take control of its future.

Tla’amin’s legislature passed a comprehensive suite of laws this morning that provides an immediate basis for the exercise of self-government authority. Lands and funding provided for under the treaty were also transferred to Tla’amin Nation.

As the fourth modern treaty to come into effect in British Columbia, the Tla’amin treaty creates the foundation for renewed relationships and a positive and stable climate that supports social development and economic growth for Tla’amin Nation and surrounding communities.

proxy.jpeg“This is a day of triumph for all Tla’amin people,” said Hegus Clint Williams of Tla’amin Nation.  “I’m proud of my community for choosing a path of change, that while difficult at times, provides us with a new beginning as a self-governing nation free of the Indian Act. I want to acknowledge the more than 20 years of hard work by our dedicated Tla’amin team members to bring us to this historic day. Our treaty will benefit all of our citizens, and especially our children – our future leaders who will grow up in a world of possibility and opportunity. Our lands and our rights are secure, our partnerships with our neighbors are strong, and our community is on a journey of healing and hope. Our future is bright.”

The treaty clearly defines Tla’amin Nation’s ownership and management of mineral, forestry and other resources on treaty settlement lands. Provisions of the treaty include a capital transfer of $33.9 million and an economic development fund of $7.9 million, and approximately 8,323 hectares of treaty land, including 1,917 hectares of former Tla’amin Indian reserve land and 6,405 hectares of former provincial Crown land.

“Today is a historic day,” said Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs. “A real testament to what can be achieved when we work together in the spirit of co-operation to resolve outstanding issues and reconcile with Indigenous people in Canada. The Tla’amin can now take control of their future and chart their own path to social and economic growth. This treaty benefits all Canadians and has set us on a path towards true reconciliation and a renewed relationship with Tla’amin based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.”

Tla’amin Nation is located on the northeast coast of the Strait of Georgia, 130 km northwest of Vancouver. Tla’amin Nation has approximately 1,100 members, 60% of whom live in the Tla’amin community north of Powell River, B.C.

Tla’amin Nation joins the Nisga’a Nation, Tsawwassen First Nation and Maa-nulth First Nations as a First Nation in British Columbia with a modern treaty in effect.

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