|First Nations Leadership Council and BC Postpone Aboriginal Title Recognition and Reconciliation Act|
For Immediate Release
March 14, 2009
Subject: BC First Nation's Leadership Council/Province of British Columbia jointly decide to postpone introduction of the proposed Aboriginal Title Recognition and Reconciliation Act until after the May 12th Provincial Election.
In response to a growing number of questions, concerns and issues being raised by First Nations, Business and Industry Leaders; Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, Mike de Jong and representatives of the BC First Nations Leadership Council have jointly decided to postpone introduction of the proposed 'Recognition and Reconciliation Act until after the Provincial election of May 12th, 2009. Under the circumstances, it was felt that the decision to postpone the introduction of the proposed legislation was responsible, reasonable and appropriate and will allow for a more comprehensive period of consultations with our respective constituent groups.
To date, we have initiated a substantive dialogue with First Nation's Leaders and in many cases, their respective legal counsels. Similarily, we have entered into a dialogue with Business and Industry Leaders.
This process of ongoing dialogue needs to continue.
Finally, given the 'historical' dimensions and significance of the Aboriginal Title Recognition and Reconciliation legislative proposal, we need, to the greatest extent possible, make this journey together.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip
Union of BC Indian Chiefs