Tla'amin members narrowly vote in favour of final agreement, clearing hurdle for another B.C. treaty
It looks like another B.C. First Nation will soon have a treaty with the federal and provincial governments.
Members of the Tla'amin First Nation (often known as "Sliammon") north of Powell River voted 318 to 235 in favour of a proposal to grant the band $30 million over 10 years and 8,322 hectares of land, including subsurface resources. More than 6,400 hectares will come from Crown land, with the remainder being the band's six reserves.
The proposed treaty grants ownership to forestry rights and rights to domestic fishing, gathering,and harvesting. The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans will licence commercial fishing operations by the Tla'amin.
The approval came after an unsuccessful court battle by those opposed, who wanted to stop the vote.
“I would like to congratulate Tla’amin Nation members and their leadership on achieving a ‘yes’ vote in favour of the Tla’amin Final Agreement," Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister Mary Polak said in a statement. "This is a clear sign that the treaty process is alive and well, and a ‘yes’ outcome to the vote helps build momentum in negotiations across B.C."
The treaty must still be approved by the B.C. legislature and Parliament.
Last year when negotiators reached the final deal, Tla'amin Nation chief Clint Williams said that it would provide a "solid foundation for our children and grandchildren".
More than half of the First Nation's population is under the age of 25.
However, a faction within the community opposed the proposed treaty for various reasons, and some claimed that their homes were vandalized when they posted signs calling for a "no" vote.
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