Aboriginal Day Celebrated by BC's First Urban Treaty First Nation Government

TSAWWASSEN, BC, June 21 /CNW/ - Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) Government celebrated Aboriginal Day today with a special Legislative Assembly session that featured an address by George Abbott, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation in B.C. The Legislative Assembly has 13 elected members, including the Chief.

Minister Abbott addressed the Assembly, noting that Tsawwassen First Nation is the second First Nation in BC with a modern treaty, and the first in an urban setting. "It's a great honour to be the first elected government official to be invited to address the Tsawwassen Legislature, especially on a day as significant as National Aboriginal Day," said Abbott. "Since the Effective Date of the Tsawwassen treaty just over a year ago, the Tsawwassen government has accomplished a remarkable amount, both in terms of creating economic opportunities for its members, as well as in forging new relationships. Chief Kim Baird, the Tsawwassen Legislature, and the entire community are to be congratulated."

TFN Chief Kim Baird expressed her appreciation for the Government of BC's and the Government of Canada's support to TFN in establishing its own government, allowing TFN to control its own destiny and fulfill its people's destiny. "Our people recognize that we now have a true democracy where we can thrive with our own land and culture, and work with our neighbors and partners to sustain our people and our future," she said.

Tsawwassen First Nation is now a full member of Metro Vancouver, and Translink. In 2009, it established a comprehensive land use strategy and launched a TFN Economic Development Corporation, which broke ground today on a new industrial park, near Deltaport Way, in Tsawwassen. The initial phase of construction at the industrial park is commencing with the support of both the Government of BC and the Government of Canada through Canada's Economic Action Plan.

Tsawwassen's new Government was established on April 3, 2009 when its Treaty, agreed to with the Government of BC and the Government of Canada, came into effect.

SOURCE Tsawwassen First Nation

For further information: For further information: Tanya Corbet, Tsawwassen First Nation, (604) 928-0879; Maria Wilkie, Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, (250) 361-7720

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