It's proof that Nisga'a Nation is open for business when we are properly
consulted and accommodated in accordance with our Treaty" stated
VICTORIA, BC, Nov. 28, 2011 /CNW/ - An important milestone in the
history of the Nisga'a Final Agreement was reached this week as British
Columbia passed a resolution in the Provincial Legislature on November
23, 2011 to give its consent to agreed-upon amendments of the Nisga'a
Treaty for the first time.
The President of Nisga'a Lisims Government Mitchell Stevens stated, "For
the first time, Nisga'a Nation has consented to changing the language
of our Treaty, something that took years to negotiate."
President Stevens, Secretary-Treasurer Edmond Wright and Executive Chair
Kevin McKay, and CEO Frederic Tolmie were in attendance at the
Provincial Legislature in Victoria to observe the introduction and
passage of the resolution and related legislation. The Honourable Mary
Polak, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, introduced
the amendment. During the debate, opposition critic for Aboriginal
Relations Scott Fraser commented that the amendment was an affirmation
of the UN Declaration of Indigenous rights which provides that
Indigenous peoples have the right to recognition and observance of
their Treaties, and access to prompt decisions and fair procedures.
Doug Donaldson, MLA Stikine, welcomed the Nisga'a officials in
attendance in the Gitxsan language. Robin Austin, MLA Skeena, supported
the resolution as it reflected the right of the Nisga'a Nation to make
such decisions which is an important change from the past.
Nisga'a Nation agreed to the Treaty amendments to adjust the boundaries
to the Nisga'a Memorial Lava Bed Park to enable the Northwest
Transmission Line to pass through a small portion of the Park. Now that
BC has provided its consent, it remains for the federal government of
Canada and the Nisga'a Nation to provide their respective final
"This amendment is important for two reasons" said President Stevens.
"It illustrates how modern-day treaties and their amendment provisions
can work to the mutual benefit of a First Nation and their Treaty
partners. It was a test for BC to demonstrate its commitment to a
government-to-government relationship with Nisga'a Nation."
"Second, its an important step forward in bringing economic opportunity
not only to our people, but to the entire northwest region of BC. This
transmission line will open the region to millions of dollars in
mining, hydro and other economic benefits. It's proof that Nisga'a
Nation is open for business when we are properly consulted and
accommodated in accordance with our Treaty" stated President Stevens.
SOURCE Nisga'a Lisims Government
For further information:
Edward Allen, Director of Communications & Intergovernmental Relations