Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

BC native communities to consider proposed rights and title law

Ts'kw'aylaxw political chief Robert Shintah sounded cautiously optimistic about proposed British Columbia legislation that would recognize aboriginal rights and title.

“I'll believe it when I see it,” he said speaking on the phone Friday after a First Nations Summit meeting in Victoria endorsed the proposal's principles.

The leaders will now take the proposal back to their communities, he said. “There's going to be a lot of input from the grassroots people as well as the chiefs.”

Shintah is a vice-president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs and a member of the First Nations Leadership Council. Asked for his thoughts on why the legislation is coming forward now, he said, “Gordon Campbell is hoping to make a legacy before May 12.”

The government house leader and minister responsible for aboriginal relations and reconciliation, Mike de Jong, has said he hopes to introduce the legislation in the current session of the legislature.

The five-page paper discussed at the First Nations Summit said the legislation's purpose will be to:

* recognize that Aboriginal rights and title exist in British Columbia throughout the territory of each Indigenous Nation that is the proper title and rights holder, without requirement of proof or strength of claim;

* enable and guide the establishment of mechanisms for shared decision-making in regard to planning, management and tenuring decisions over lands and resources;

* enable and guide the completion of revenue and benefit sharing agreements between Indigenous Nations and the Province;

* set out a vision for rebuilding Indigenous Nations and establish a new institution to support and facilitate the process;

* establish processes, mechanisms or a new institution to assist in resolving any disputes [that] may arise regarding the interpretation or implementation of the legislation, regulations or any agreements concluded pursuant to the legislation.

Implementation of the Act is intended to foster reconciliation, cooperation and partnership and contribute to certainty for Indigenous Nations and third parties.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus