Tsilhqot`in Reconciliation Agreement

The Tsilhqot`in Nation Decision declared for the first time the title of the Aborigines in Canada, in the homeland of the peoples of Tŝilhqot`in. Since then, the federal and provincial governments have worked separately with the Tŝilhqot`in Nation to implement the Tsilhqot`in Nation decision and find a way to achieve lasting reconciliation. The new agreement brings the three parties together around a table to continue their cooperation. “Category B country” means land in the territory of Tsilhqot`in that is not covered by the declared title area, Category A areas or Indian reserve. The agreement promises that the province and the Tsilhqot`in Nation will develop a common framework for decision-making regarding Category B countries, including the conclusion of resource allocation agreements by March 31, 2017. The fact that Indigenous peoples are constantly pushed into deadlocks and bound by legal proceedings and injunctions to protect their rights and territories says a lot about the overwhelming state of reconciliation in Canada today. The Tŝilhqot`in National Government and their six member First Nations have signed a “reconciliation agreement” with Canada and the Government of British Columbia. If Canada continues to ignore its commitments to Indigenous peoples under long-standing agreements, UNDP and other international agreements, reconciliation will remain a superficial slogan. “The Supreme Court of Canada`s 2014 decision was an important milestone, as was this agreement.

Fishing is a key part of the agreement that will help change the lives of the people of Tŝilhqot`in. This revolutionary agreement paves the way for lasting reconciliation based on partnership, cooperation and self-determination and recognizes the social and cultural importance of fisheries for the Tŝilhqot`in Nation. On February 11, 2016, government B.C concluded the Nenqay Deni Accord: the “People`s Accord”, a five-year framework agreement with the Tsilhqot`in Nation. The agreement was signed in part in response to the Supreme Court of Canada`s unanimous decision in Tsilhqot`in Nation v. British Columbia, 2014 SCC 44, which recognized the title of Tsilhqot`in Nation on over 1700 square kilometres of land in central B.C. The Supreme Court of Canada`s decision in Tsilhqot`in was the first judicial finding of Aboriginal title across Canada. Conversely, the vision of the Tsilhqot`in Nation provides dasiqox Tribal Park with a striking example of what true reconciliation in Canada could look like if Tsilhqot`in`s rights and interests were respected and upheld. Tŝilhqot`in, provincial and federal chiefs met Wednesday in Williams Lake, B.C. To celebrate the new Gwets`en Nilt`i Pathway Agreement, which governments announce as a “historic reconciliation agreement to support Tsilhqot`s self-determination.” In 2016, they signed the Nenqay Deni Accord – or “The People`s Accord” – with B.C.

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