A group of four Cariboo area First Nations are a step closer to a formal treaty.
The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw have signed an agreement-in-principle with the provincial and federal governments which outlines the elements of a treaty, including land and resource ownership, harvesting rights, social services, and transition from the Indian Act to self-governance.
Chief Ann Louie of the T’exelc First Nation of Williams Lake said in a statement that Sunday’s signing was a “great day,” representing the culmination of 25 years of discussions to end the control of the Indian Act on her band.
The agreement signed Sunday in Canim Lake begins the final stage of treaty negotiations.
A joint statement released by the bands, the Government of Canada, and the Government of British Columbia said the treaty informed by the agreement would be guided by the governments’ “new commitments to reconciliation.”
The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw is made up of the Stswecem’c-Xgat’tem, the T’exelc, the Tsq’escen’, and the Xat’sull First Nations. The group represents more than 2,600 people.
(The Canadian Press)