To: Native Youth Movement
From: Interior Six Nations Alliance
Re: British Columbia Treaty Process
It has come to our attention that you have occupied the offices of the British Columbia Treaty Commission (BCTC), in order to bring attention to your concerns regarding the so-called "Treaty Process". We want you to know that you are not alone. We share your concerns about the process that the federal and provincial governments are trying to pass off as "Treaty-Making". In our view, as of December 11, 1997, the Supreme Court of Canada through their recent Delgamuukw decision, rendered the BCTC process illegal.
The Interior Six Nations Alliance supports post-Delgamuukw discussions with the federal and provincial governments regarding the affirmation and accommodation of our aboriginal title, not the "surrender and grant-back" approach which the BCTC is mandated to facilitate. The Interior Six Nations Alliance also supports an open and transparent approach which involves our peoples in any decision making involving our aboriginal title. This is unlike the current 'behind closed door' tripartite consultations taking place between the First Nations Summit and the Governments of Canada and British Columbia to try and impose "province wide" policies.
You can rest assured that we will not be involved in, or support any process, which does not include our peoples from the communities. It is our peoples, hunters, fishers, our harvesters, whose livelihood depends on maintaining our aboriginal title through sustained use of our lands and resources, for not only your generation, but for future generations. We need a process addressing aboriginal title which is designed to be from the ground up, not a "top down" approach like the BCTC process, which does not affirm or accomodate our aboriginal title.
We encourage you to continue to raise your concerns about your future, with your families, communities and Nations.
As the Indigenous Nations in the south central interior of BC, we offer any type of practical support we can provide to assist you in your present situation, please let us know if we can be of any assistance. If you would like to meet and discuss these matters further, please let us know.
Chief Arthur Manuel
Spokesperson - Interior Six Nations Alliance
Native Youth Movmement
(604) 977-1510 (pager) or (604) 490-5314: Monty Joseph or David Dennis