Aboriginal affairs already on Clark agenda

"Aboriginal affairs may quickly rise to the top of the agenda for British Columbia's next premier." That's what The Globe and Mail's Robert Matas reported today in an article citing the Skeetchestn Indian Band and the Tsilhqot'in National Government's concerns that they're not getting a fair shake from businesses operating on their territory. In light of those concerns, it's worth noting Christy Clark was to have fulsomely responded to a letter from First Nations groups requesting comment from the provincial Liberal leadership candidates on what they'd do for British Columbia's aboriginal people should they win government. In that letter, Ms. Clark promised to establish an aboriginal business/investment council and have regular meetings with First Nations leaders among other initiatives.


An "Aboriginal Investment Council" sounds like a modern day version of beads and trinkets. It has been tried for years but rarely addresses First Nation's concerns.

The Williams Lake Chamber of Commerce is one of many business organizations actively promoting the Prosperity Mine near Fish Lake. First Nations have been constantly attacked by these organizations for opposing the mine. Christy Clark is pretty cozy with the BC Chamber of Commerce so I doubt she would have much credibility with First Nations.

The modern treaty process has been around for about twenty years with limited results. some bands start, then drag their feet and the costs go up. Since very few bands have actually got a treaty the confusion as to who really owns what is always an issue. There are overlaps, lots of rail and road allowances going back many years. Get to the table and sort out the "bundle of rights" once and for all. The Douglas Treaties are about a hundred years old, consist of a couple of paragraphs and raise a lot of court arguments. One Deputy Minister under the previous government told us often, that a year should be long enough to work it out, then let the lawyers in the room for a month to do the fancy writing

Leave a comment

Copyright © 2004 - Public Eye Mediaworks. Reproductions of any portion of this Website are permitted only with the expressed permission of Public Eye Mediaworks.
Canadian Web Hosting graciously provided by dotcanuck Web Services. Layout and graphics courtesy of Art Department Design.