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Members of Sliammon First Nation approve treaty by vote of 318-235

VANCOUVER - Members of a B.C. First Nation have approved a treaty with the federal and provincial governments.

Residents of the Sliammon First Nation voted 318-235 in favour following a court ruling that guaranteed the polling station would be accessible.

A first attempt to settle the referendum for the Sunshine Coast community was stopped on June 16 by a group that blocked voters from the polling station.

On Tuesday, a B.C. Supreme Court judge upheld a June 22 injunction stopping the Protectors of Sliammon Sovereignty from preventing the vote.

A statement from the community says several van loads of tactical officers were sent from the Campbell River RCMP to enforce the injunction.

But the band says no enforcement was needed as a "respectful crowd attended the evening vote count."

After the vote, Chief Clint Williams told about 60 people at the Salish Centre that it was not a victory but ”just another step toward nationhood."

"Now the real hard work starts," Williams told the crowd.

"We have to work together as Sliammon people. It is so important that we be respectful to one another and build a strong nation."

The treaty is designed to give members of the Sliammon First Nation more than 8,300 hectares of land, including 6,405 hectares of provincial Crown land, plus $30 million in cash over 10 years.

The Sliammon First Nation, with a population of about 1,000, is located just outside Powell River, B.C., about 130 km northwest of Vancouver.

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