BC Government Signs Incremental Treaty Agreement With Wei Wai Kum First Nation

At a community celebration on Thursday (8-11-22), the British Columbia provincial government and the Wei Wai Kum First Nation signed an Incremental Treaty Agreement (ITA) that will transfer 2,276 hectares of territorial lands back to Wei Wai Kum and help boost the Nation’s economic activities.

The ITA was made possible thanks to the long-term support and significant effort of neighboring First Nations. The ITA lands are within territories shared with Kwiakah and We Wai Kai (We Wai Kai Treaty Society). These three Laich-Kwil Tach Nations have been working with and supporting each other.

The ITA demonstrates the commitment of Wei Wai Kum and the Province, along with the federal government, to the treaty process—a critically important pathway to meaningful reconciliation. The province, federal government, and Wei Wai Kum are currently in the final phases of treaty negotiations, and the lands transferred under the ITA are an early benefit as the final treaty is negotiated. The tripartite treaty negotiations have been underway since 1997, with ITA discussions between the Nation and BC regarding this specific land parcel ongoing since 2019.

Lands transferred under the ITA will help increase Wei Wai Kum First Nation’s participation in the forest industry for economic purposes and give its citizens access to lands for cultural and harvesting activities. Crown lands were carefully selected to balance support for Wei Wai Kum’s interests and maintenance of public access to popular recreation sites, such as Loveland Bay Provincial Park and areas required for BC Timber Sales operations.

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Agreement returns lands to Wei Wai Kum First Nation