Mar/98: UBCIC demands BCTC native leaders clarify position


Union of BC Indian Chiefs Press Release

as printed in Khatou
March, 1998

Williams Lake - Chief Saul Terry, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, demanded that the Indigenous leaders within the BC Treaty Process clarify their support of federal and provincial government policies regarding Indigenous Peoples: "The Minister of Aboriginal Affairs has denied that the Indigenous Nations in British Columbia are asserting unceded aboriginal title over the entire area of British Columbia. Minister Cashore stated that Edward John, Joe Mathias, Robert Louie accept the policies of the Federal and Provincial governments as represented by the British Columbia Treaty Process. I would like to clarify if this is true. These leaders must publicly declare, and put in writing, whether or not they agree with the current Federal and Provincial policies to:

1. Extinguish 100% of our peoples' Aboriginal Title to our traditional homelands, in exchange for the Province agreeing to recognize only 5% of our Lands under fee-simple Provincial title.

2. Require Indigenous Peoples to take out loans as a mortgage on our own futures in order to "negotiate" to recognize our internationally and legally recognized Aboriginal Title.

3. Eliminate traditional systems of Indigenous Self determination. To trade in our traditional systems of governance for the "Self Government Corporations" that Canada will agree to recognize.

4. Refuse to meet honourably and justly with Indigenous Nations who do not support the current BC Treaty Process, therefore violating their fiduciary duties and legal obligations.

5. In exchange for the devastation brought upon our Peoples, including the theft of our Children, Culture, Language, Land and Resources offer a limited compensation package set according to a predetermined formula of the Federal and Provincial Governments.

These policies are the foundation of the current BC Treaty Process. When you agree to enter into the BC Treaty Process, this is the basis on which you agree to do so. If the leaders of the BC treaty Process do not agree with these policies, they must step forward and say so. Citizens of our Indigenous Nations deserve to know what deals these leaders are prepared to make with the Federal and Provincial Governments.

The Union of BC Indian Chiefs would like to publicly invite Canada to submit a "letter of intent" to our Indigenous Nations where they wish to continue to use and access our Land and Resources.

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