UBCIC Supports the Nanaimo Unity Protocol

(Vancouver/Coast Salish Territory, April 3, 2007)  Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, stated today "The UBCIC supports the spirit, intent and principles of the Nanaimo Unity Protocol.  Further, the UBCIC strongly supports the view that any negotiating mandates undertaken by Canada and BC to resolve the outstanding Land Question in BC must seek to fully recognize, accomodate and reconcile our Aboriginal Title and Rights interests to the Land and Resources within our respective Territories. In addition, all 'settlement lands' must be designated as 91(24) lands under the 1982 Constitution Act. Finally, our tax exemption must remain in tact."

Grand Chief Phillip concluded "The narrow, restrictive and outdated negotiating mandates of Canada and BC are directly contributing to the demise of the BC Treaty process."

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For further comment
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip
(604) 684-0231

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BACKGROUNDER

ORIGINAL IN PDF

March 28, 2007

Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Government of Canada
SENT VIA FAX: (613) 995-0101

Honourable Gordon Campbell, Premier
Government of British Columbia
SENT VIA FAX: (250) 387-0087

Dear Prime Minister Harper and Premier Campbell:

Please find enclosed a copy of UBCIC Resolution 2007-16 entitled UBCIC Support for Unity Protocol, a duly passed resolution which was unanimously endorsed at the UBCIC Chiefs Council of March 27, 2007.

The Union of BC Indian Chiefs supports the position and principles contained in the Unity Protocol. We believe that the position and principles are applicable whether they are expressed in court, in the board-room or at a negotiation table. As such, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs demands that the narrow and restrictive mandates of the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia must change to recognize and acknowledge the following:

(a) Recognition, accommodation and reconciliation of our Aboriginal Title and Rights within our respective territories;

(b) that the land status of all lands secured through land rights reconciliation processes or treaty negotiations seek a just resolution of the Land Question through the recognition, accommodation and reconciliation of our Aboriginal Title and Rights and Pre-confederation Treaty Rights retain their status as lands recognized as lands reserved for Indians under section 91(24) of the Constitution and that these lands must not be designated as fee simple lands, and;

(c) that taxation exemptions remain.

In conclusion the Union of BC Indian Chiefs hereby declare that our communities will never agree to any government sponsored Aboriginal Title accommodation and legislated process unless the aforementioned fundamental principles are enshrined in such a process.

Sincerely,

Chief Stewart Phillip
President

Chief Robert Shintah
Vice-President

Chief Mike Retasket
Secretary-Treasurer
CC:
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada - Honourable Jim Prentice Minister – FAX (819) 953-4941
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation - Honourable Michael De Jong, Minister - FAX (250) 953-4856
UBCIC Chiefs Council
BC Assembly of First Nations
First Nations Summit
BC First Nations

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UNION OF B.C. INDIAN CHIEFS
CHIEFS COUNCIL
VANCOUVER, B.C.
Resolution no. 2007-16

RE: UBCIC Support for Unity Protocol

WHEREAS the Chief Negotiators and/or Chiefs of 45 First Nations, representing over 25,000 First Nations people from across British Columbia that are involved in Treaty negotiations with the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia, signed a Unity Protocol agreeing to work together to advance their land claims (a copy of which is attached to this resolution);

WHEREAS the Unity Protocol, which was formed on October 28th 2006 in Nanaimo BC, is intended to jointly engage Canada and British Columbia in the negotiation of principles or options that First Nations can rely upon when negotiating individual agreements and specifically the negotiation of six key issues: certainty; Constitutional status of lands; governance; co-management throughout traditional territories; fiscal relations, and; fisheries.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Union of BC Indian Chiefs supports the position and principles contained in the Unity Protocol signed in Nanaimo BC on October 28th 2006 by First Nations involved in the BC Treaty Process and demands that the narrow and restrictive mandates of the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia must change to recognize and acknowledge the following:
(a) Recognition, accommodation and reconciliation of our Aboriginal Title and Rights within our respective territories, and;
(b) that the land status of all lands secured through treaty negotiations or other land rights reconciliation processes that seek a just resolution of the Land Question through the recognition, accommodation and reconciliation of our Aboriginal Title and Rights and Pre-confederation Treaty Rights retain their status as lands recognized as lands reserved for Indians under section 91(24) of the Constitution and that these lands must not be designated as fee simple lands, and;
(c) that taxation exemptions remain;

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Union of BC Indian Chiefs hereby declare that our communities will never agree to any government sponsored Aboriginal title accommodation and legislated process unless the aforementioned fundamental principles are enshrined in such a process.

Moved: Chief Robert Louie, Westbank First Nation
Seconded: Chief Mike Retasket, Bonaparte Indian Band
Disposition: Carried
Date: March 27th, 2007

Unity Protocol in PDF

UBCIC is a NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.