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Premier, Yale First Nation youth celebrate treaty bill

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
May 22nd, 2011

Placing drawings and handwritten stories into a time capsule, Premier Christy Clark and Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister Mary Polak joined Yale Chief Robert Hope and youth from the Yale First Nation to celebrate the introduction of provincial legislation to ratify B.C.’s third modern treaty under the B.C. treaty process.

The Yale First Nation is the seventh First Nation, under the B.C. treaty process, to witness the introduction of their treaty legislation in the B.C. Legislature.

The Yale First Nation Final Agreement includes self-government provisions and phases out tax exemptions. The treaty will provide Yale with a capital transfer of $10.7 million, economic development funding of $2.2 million and 1,966 hectares of land owned in fee simple, made up of 217 hectares of former Yale Indian reserves and 1,749 hectares of Crown lands.

The Final Agreement clearly defines Yale First Nation’s ownership and management of mineral, forestry and other resources on treaty settlement lands. The Final Agreement also defines Yale’s rights related to fishing, gathering and harvesting.

The Yale First Nation, which is made up of about 150 members, is located near Hope. Sixty-eight per cent of Yale members cast ballots in favour of the Final Agreement in a community ratification vote held in March. Negotiations towards this treaty began in 1994.

Once the Yale First Nation Treaty Settlement Legislation has been debated, and if passed by provincial legislators, settlement legislation must also be approved by the Parliament of Canada. The treaty will take effect on a date agreed to by the parties.

In addition to the Yale Final Agreement, since 2002, the B.C. government has signed treaties with six other First Nations, including the Tsawwassen First Nation and the five First Nations of the Maa-nulth First Nations Treaty.

The Province continues to make steady progress towards final agreements with the In-SHUCK-ch, Tla’amin and Yekooche First Nations.

For more information about the Yale First Nation Final Agreement, please visit:

http://www.treaties.gov.bc.ca/treaties_yale.html

Yale First Nation Treaty Settlement Legislation

  • The Yale First Nation Final Agreement Act is made up of three components: core provisions, consequential amendments, and a schedule to the Bill.
  • Core provisions ratify and give the force of law to the Final Agreement.
  • Consequential amendments make necessary changes to other provincial statutes in order to give effect to commitments in the Final Agreement and facilitate Yale First Nation’s law making authority within the provincial structure. For example, the consequential amendment to the Marriage Act will fulfill commitments made in the Yale First Nation Final Agreement to provide authority to the Yale First Nation to make laws regarding its marriage rites and customs, and allow a Yale designate to perform marriages, and issue marriage licences.
  • The schedule to the Bill contains the Yale First Nation Final Agreement, including its appendices.

B.C. Treaty Process

B.C.’s treaty process brings together First Nations and the provincial and federal governments to establish certainty over rights to Crown land and resources through the negotiation of treaties.  

Modern treaty negotiations are facilitated through the B.C. Treaty Commission and go through a six-stage process which was established in 1992:

  • Stage 1: Statement of Intent to Negotiate
  • Stage 2: Readiness to Negotiate
  • Stage 3: Negotiation of a Framework Agreement
  • Stage 4: Negotiation of An Agreement In Principle
  • Stage 5: Negotiation to Finalize a Treaty
  • Stage 6: Implementation of the Treaty

In order to move to the final stage, Implementation or Stage 6, a treaty must first be ratified by the First Nation, the provincial legislature and the federal parliament.

For more information about treaties in British Columbia, visit www.treaties.gov.bc.ca.

 

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