Saturday marked a historic day in BC, the 20th anniversary of the province’s first First Nations treaty signing.
Contrary to other Canadian provinces, most of BC’s First Nations had never signed treaties or surrendered their land.
But, on November 3rd 1998, the Nisga’a Nation carved a new path, signing an agreement which would eventually lead to their right to self-governance.
With the signing of the historic, yet controversial, treaty, the Nisga’a gained the right to form their own government and run their own public services, along with 2 thousand square kms of title land, and nearly 200 million dollars in compensation.
Now 20 years on, while some Nisga’a still disagree with the signing, many believe that the Nation’s cultural identity has been strengthened by their exclusion from the Indian Act.