The province and the Cheslatta Carrier First Nation say they will try to heal decades-old wounds caused by the building of a dam and the destruction of dozens of graves.
An agreement signed between the two is expected to guide reconciliation talks on issues including the 1952 building of the Kenney Dam in the northern Interior.
Mike Robertson is the Senior Policy Advisor for the band, and he says it’s a been a long time coming to get the province to the table.
The dam and reservoir use a local lake and river system as a spillway, and the Aboriginal Relations Ministry says that has led to annual flooding and the destruction of more than 60 graves.
The ministry says band members regularly find skeletal remains along the shore.
Short-term watershed-restoration work on the First Nation’s traditional territory near Burns Lake will receive a boost from $400,000 included in the deal.
Robertson hopes some options for a spillway can be fleshed out by the end of the summer or the autumn.
Both parties have also agreed to discuss economic and environmental issues related to the development of natural resources.