BC and Canadian Federal Government Reach Settlement Agreement With Five First Nations on Treaty Land Entitlement Claims

On Saturday, April 15th, five First Nations in British Columbia, alongside provincial and federal government representatives, announced settlement agreements of the Nations’ Treaty Land Entitlements claims. The settlements resolve long-standing claims that these First Nations did not receive all the lands owed them under Treaty 8, which was signed in 1899.

According to the press release, for more than 100 years, the First Nations have been deprived of the use and benefits of thousands of acres of land owed to them under Treaty 8, while the resource on and under those lands were taken and developed by others. Under the settlement agreements, Canada will provide the First Nations compensation for these losses and costs relating to the claims.

In additional to the momentary compensation from the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia will provide 44,266 hectares (109,385 acres) of Crown land to the First Nations. In a related agreement, the Province of Alberta has also agreed to provide an amount of land to the Doig River First Nation in that province.

The settlements were announced by Judy Desjarlais, Chief of Blueberry River First Nations; Trevor Makadahay, Chief of Doig River First Nation; Darlene Hunter, Chief of Halfway River First Nation; Justin Napoleon, Chief of Saulteau First Nations; and Roland Willson, Chief of West Moberly First Nations; along with Marc Miller, federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations; BC Premier David Eby; and Murray Rankin, BC Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.

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