Mood upbeat as common table talks conclude

    VANCOUVER, July 24 /CNW/ - There is optimism in treaty talks among BC
First Nations and senior officials for the governments of Canada and BC
following thirteen days of discussion facilitated by the Treaty Commission.
    On the final day of talks the parties identified a number of
opportunities for further exploration. Any potential changes in approaches to
treaty negotiations would have to be confirmed by the decision-makers in
Ottawa and Victoria and by First Nations, a policy process that could take
some time. Then, negotiators for each of the parties would have to weigh the
options in their negotiations at individual treaty tables.
    "The discussions at the common table ended on a positive note because
there is agreement among First Nations and senior government officials on a
number of areas where progress may be possible," said A/Chief Commissioner
Jody Wilson.
    At the last of five sessions the First Nation negotiators and senior
officials for the other two governments talked candidly about their views on
recognition and certainty, including shared territory issues, and the
constitutional status of land. Also on the table for discussion were
governance and co-management, including structures for shared decision-making;
fiscal relations, including own-source revenue and taxation; and fisheries.
    The treaty talks involving 64 First Nation communities at a common table
which ended Friday are being watched by many more First Nations that want to
see more progress in their treaty negotiations.

    About the BC Treaty Commission

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

For further information:

For further information: Brian Mitchell, Communications Manager, (604)
482-9215 or (604) 788-5190,

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