Agreements with five First Nations located on Vancouver Island will bring economic opportunities and job growth to their communities, while increasing certainty on the land base.
The five Incremental Treaty Agreements (ITAs) transfer land to the Songhees, Scia'new (Beecher Bay), T'Sou-ke (Sooke), Malahat and Snaw-naw-as (Nanoose) Nations in advance of a final treaty.
These Nations are collectively negotiating a modern-day treaty through the BC treaty process as members of the Te'mexw Treaty Association (TTA).
The ITAs will bring benefits more quickly to the five communities while also supporting reconciliation and economic certainty on southern Vancouver Island.
The agreements also reflect the B.C. government's commitment to build strong and lasting relationships with First Nations, based on principles of respect, recognition and reconciliation within the treaty process.
Incremental treaty agreements provide benefits to First Nations in advance of a final treaty while building momentum towards further milestones and providing increased certainty over land and resources.
The Te'mexw Incremental Treaty Agreements mark the first time the B.C. government has negotiated multiple ITAs with a treaty group.
Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister Ida Chong -
"The five Nations comprising the Te'mexw Treaty Association have shown vision and determination in reaching agreements with the B.C. government that will bring tangible benefits to their citizens within the treaty process. These incremental treaty agreements will bring new opportunities that will benefit the Scia'new, Snaw-naw-as, Malahat, T'Sou-ke and Songhees Nations, and the neighbouring communities across Vancouver Island."
Te'mexw Treaty Association Chairman Tom Bob -"With great pride we accept the return of some of our lands through these Incremental Treaty Agreements. Te'mexw will continue to develop a treaty that will provide a better way of life for all of our citizens while we also protect our environment, territories and resources."
"We raise our hands in gratitude to the Creator and to all of the Elders who have preceded us and thank them for all of the work they have done in bringing us back to our rightful place in society."
"This milestone has been made possible by the strong vision, goals and objectives of our
Elders - especially our late Chairman and Chief of Negotiations Wilson Bob - we remember his vision, commitment and strength today."
- The Te'mexw Treaty Association entered the BC treaty process in 1995.
- The The Te'mexw Treaty Association is in stage four of the six-stage process, negotiating an agreement in principle.
- The Te'mexw Treaty Nations represent nearly 1,600 citizens.
- The Songhees Nation is located on Esquimalt Harbour, in Victoria.
- T'Sou-ke Nation is located near Sooke, at the southern end of Vancouver Island.
- The Scia'new Nation is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island.
- The Malahat Nation is located on the western shore of Saanich Inlet, north of Victoria.
- The Snaw-naw-as Nation is located on the east coast of Vancouver Island, north of Nanaimo.
- Te'mexw citizens are party to the historic Douglas Treaties that were signed between 1850 and 1854.
- These benefits are considered an advance by B.C. of a portion of the provincial share of a future treaty settlement package.
For more information on Incremental Treaty Agreements, visit: www.treaties.gov.bc.ca/itas.html
For more information about the BC Treaty Commission, visit: http://www.bctreaty.net/
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
250 213-6451 (cell)
Te'mexw Treaty Coordinator
Te'mexw Treaty Association
250 360-2202 (office)
250 889-9877 (cell)