Tsilhqot’in nation signs deal with B.C. on path to securing resources: chief

By on February 13, 2016

Williams Lake, British Columbia. (Photo courtesy of Andybremner2012/Wikipedia)
Williams Lake, British Columbia.
(Photo courtesy of Andybremner2012/Wikipedia)

VANCOUVER—A British Columbia aboriginal nation and the province have signed a five-year deal outlining future negotiations over land and resources.

The provincial government and the Williams Lake-based nation that represents six communities say in a joint news release today that the agreement covers eight areas.

They include Tsilhqot’in culture and language, children and families, healthy communities, justice, education and training, lands and resources and economic development.

Crown land within the Tsilhqot’in territory will be part of negotiations but private lands will not be involved.

The Tsilhqot’in Nation won a Supreme Court of Canada ruling in June 2014 granting it title to more than 1,750 square kilometres in the Nemiah Valley in B.C.’s Chilcotin region.

Tribal chairman Chief Joe Alphonse says that decision gives the nation clout to fight for resources, such as trees, gold, sockeye, and oil and gas before it begins negotiations with the federal government on issues including clean water.