Tsawwassen First Nation secures its rightful place



    VANCOUVER, June 27 /CNW/ - All party support in Parliament for the
Tsawwassen First Nation Final Agreement marked the final step yesterday in a
long and arduous journey for the Tsawwassen people in securing their treaty.
    "The arrival of the first treaty in the BC treaty process is a
significant achievement for all those people who worked so diligently and
determinedly to build the agreement and see it through to ratification by all
three parties to the agreement," said A/Chief Commissioner Jody Wilson. "It's
a positive development for all British Columbians, and an encouragement for
other First Nations to seek their own unique treaties."
    The treaty, previously ratified by the First Nation and in the BC
legislature, recognizes the historic presence of the Tsawwassen people and
re-establishes the First Nation's footprint in its traditional territory.
Ultimately, the Tsawwassen treaty is about reconciliation through the
accommodation of differences.
    "We know the path taken by Tsawwassen people has been a difficult one,"
said A/Chief Commissioner Jody Wilson. "We know that reaching agreement was
not easy and tough choices had to be made."
    The treaty clears the way for Tsawwassen First Nation to secure its
rightful place in the larger community and to begin placing itself on an equal
footing with its neighbours. The treaty, as the Tsawwassen First Nation
acknowledges, provides the tools to manage change and to benefit from economic
opportunities.
    The Treaty Commission commends Tsawwassen First Nation for the leadership
it has shown to move its community forward in building an economically and
culturally healthy community.

    About the BC Treaty Commission

    The Treaty Commission is the independent body responsible for overseeing
treaty negotiations within the six-stage BC treaty process among the
governments of Canada, BC and First Nations in BC. It has three roles:
facilitation, funding, and public information and education.
    Established in 1992, the Treaty Commission comprises five commissioners -
a provincial appointee, a federal appointee, two First Nations Summit
appointees and a chief commissioner chosen by agreement of all three
principals. For more information about the BC Treaty Commission please visit
www.bctreaty.net.





For further information:

For further information: Brian Mitchell, Communications Manager, (604)
482-9215 or (604) 788-5190, info@bctreaty.net; Deena Tokaryk, Communications
Officer, (604) 482-9217 or (604) 329-1571,
deena_tokaryk@bctreatycommission.bc.ca

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BRITISH COLUMBIA TREATY COMMISSION

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