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Province and Tla’amin sign final agreement, one step closer to treaty

For Immediate Release
March 15, 2014

Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

POWELL RIVER – A major milestone was reached today with the signing of the Tla’amin Final Agreement by the Province and Tla’amin Nation, effectively moving the First Nations community closer to self-determination and a promising future through modern treaty.

Members of the Tla’amin Nation joined Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister John Rustad, Tla’amin Nation Chief Clint Williams and federal government representatives for the signing ceremony. A community celebration was held to mark the historic occasion.

Representatives of the federal government will now bring the final agreement to Ottawa for a formal signing by Canada. Following the signing by Canada, the federal government will proceed with the final step in ratifying the agreement with the recommendation of settlement legislation to Parliament.

Once the federal settlement legislation is passed by Parliament, Tla’amin, Canada and British Columbia will work to complete the tasks required to bring the final agreement (the treaty) into legal effect, which is targeted for April 2016.

The Tla’amin Nation entered the British Columbia treaty process in 1994. In July 2012, Tla’amin community members ratified the final agreement.


Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister John Rustad –

“This signing marks another significant step along the path of reconciliation between the Tla’amin Nation and British Columbia. The time it has taken us to get this far together is a tribute to the importance of what we’re trying to achieve. That’s because negotiating treaties with First Nations is the ultimate form of reconciliation.”

“This treaty will help provide a solid financial foundation and support the Tla’amin in building a self-reliant and economically viable community.”

Chief Clint Williams, Tla’amin Nation –

“For Tla’amin, it is important to highlight that this final agreement signing took place in Tees Kwat, an original village site of the Tla’amin people. Our community members witnessed and celebrated the signing of the agreement, which will lead us to a treaty that re-establishes our connection to our territories and sets the foundation for re-building the Tla’amin Nation.”

Quick Facts

· Treaties are a preferred form of reconciliation agreements that remove First Nations from the constraints of the federal Indian Act and provide them with a comprehensive set of tools for self-government and participating in the economy.
· By bringing certainty to land and resource rights, treaties maximize opportunities for economic development and job creation for all British Columbians.
· In 2009, the BC Treaty Commission published an independent report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which estimated that completing two treaties per year over the next 15 years could result in $5.14 billion in net benefits to First Nations, as well as boost the provincial economy by $3.2 billion through investment, job creation and economic development.
· The Tla’amin Final Agreement, also known as treaty, includes self-government provisions and phases out tax exemptions.
· The treaty will provide Tla’amin with a capital transfer of approximately $29.7 million, paid in 10 annual payments; economic development funding of approximately $6.9 million and a fishing vessel fund of $0.25 million.
· The treaty also includes more than 8,000 hectares of land owned in fee simple, consisting of approximately 1,900 hectares of former Tla’amin Indian reserve land and 6,405 hectares of former provincial Crown land.
· The final agreement clearly defines Tla’amin First Nation’s ownership and management of mineral, forestry and other resources on treaty settlement lands. The agreement also defines Tla’amin’s rights related to fishing, gathering and harvesting.
· The treaty identifies Tla’amin’s obligations to non-members, including consultation and access to appeal and review processes.
· Tla’amin laws would operate on Tla’amin lands concurrently with federal and provincial laws, similar to other jurisdictions in Canada.
· Tla’amin Nation is represented by 1026 members, with its main community located north of Powell River.

Learn More

For more information about the Tla’amin Final Agreement, visit:

Media Contact:

Nina Chiarelli
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
250 953-3211

Denise Smith
Tla’amin Nation
604 414-5557 (cell)



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