(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, July 29, 2007) “The Union of BC Indian Chiefs acknowledges the overwhelming support garnered by the Huu-ay-aht Final Treaty Agreement. We also recognize the Huu-ay-aht vote only represents 1/5 of the ratification vote for the Maa-nulth Treaty Agreement. Four other communities involved in the Maa-nulth Agreement must also ratify the agreement for it to pass” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.
Grand Chief Phillip continued “In spite of these circumstances, however, the UBCIC continues to maintain its position that the BC Treaty process is a fundamentally flawed process by virtue of the fact it is anchored to the 1986 Comprehensive Claims Policy which does not measure up to the legal standards set by the Supreme Court of Canada in the Delgamuuk’w, Haida and Taku River Tlingit decisions.”
“What is worrisome is government will attempt to enforce the minimalist nature of these agreements as a basic template of treaty making,” stated Grand Chief Phillip. “As First Nations we cannot allow that to happen. The future health and well-being of our communities depends on agreements which provide the development of substantive economies that will sustain our communities today and into the future.”
“Consequently, there may be a small handful of treaty settlement agreements that may be ratified, but the vast majority of First Nations in the Province will not subscribe to a so-called treaty process that does not recognize or accommodate the full measure of their Aboriginal Title and Rights interests over the broad expanse of their territories” concluded Grand Chief Phillip.
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FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip
UBCIC is a NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.