You now, first of all, we are dealing with two things. One is the general land claim,
based on Aboriginal Title, which in fact the highest court in the land came to a
split decision, you know. They didn't go one way or the other. Three were for and
three were against. The judges, seven judges sat on this Supreme court and one of them
voted on a technicality that didn't go anywhere near the existence or non-existence
of Aboriginal Rights. But Aboriginal Rights in short, is that Indian people
owned this country before the white people came, and um, the... the colonial powers
that came existent in this country were given explicit directions of how they were
to deal with Indians and their lands. And they had to pay in cash or in kind when
taking over Indian lands. And this they did in the prairie provinces where you have
treaties. But in British Columbia, and in a number of other provinces, there are no
treaties, there are no agreements. So as far as the legal situation is concerned,
the, the um, the issue has not been settled, and this is what we are talking about is
the unsurrendered Title of Indian people to the province we now know as British
Columbia, that's what we are dealing with. In setting up of the reserves, they set
up a legal area that was defined for the use of Indian people. This is all Indian
people got, and then they set up a Commission, forced by the Provincial government
of the time, that Indian people probably weren't using the land that they, in the way
the provincial government saw they should be, and the Commission had very clear
terms of reference. That they wouldn't take any land away from Indian people unless
they had their participation. But the provincial government forced the federal
government, or prodded them on to going in to taking this land, with...without the
participation or knowledge of Indian people. And this the issue, the Indian people
in these twenty-two bands, want those thirty-six thousand acres returned to them
and if we succeed in doing that, then we are dealing with the larger issue of the
general land claim. And that is the distinction between the two, I hope I have
clarified that.