BC’s Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister is hopeful a series of reforms will help speed up the glacial pace of treaty talks.
At the current rate, John Rustad says it will take 600 years to reach agreements with more than 200 First Nations in BC.
Rustad says one of the proposals to improve the process between First Nations, Canada, and BC will be to take what he calls a “stepping stone” approach to treaty.
Rustad says the parties are also looking at the funding structure of treaty making. Right now, First Nations borrow to negotiate treaties which has resulted in $640 million dollars worth of loans which must be paid back once a final agreement is in place.
The province is expected to name a new head of the BC Treaty Commission in September, a position that has been vacant for more than one year after the BC government nixed the appointment of former Liberal cabinet minister George Abbott.