The Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) and the provincial government marked the 10th anniversary of the Tsawwassen First Nation Treaty Effective Date by displaying the Nation’s flag inside the B.C. Parliament Buildings.
On April 3, 2009, TFN moved away from the Indian Act and became a self-governing Treaty Nation. TFN's was the second modern treaty in B.C. history and the first Treaty implemented through the B.C. Treaty Commission negotiation process.
The flag is called Eagle in Flight and was designed by a Tsawwassen member using a traditional Coast Salish art style. The eagle is spreading its wings to fly while holding a salmon to its chest, depicting TFN members as united, fearless and confident. The flag display is a demonstration of a shared commitment to reconciliation and an important reminder of the unique government-to-government relationship between B.C., Canada and TFN.
Over the past decade of self-governance, the Nation’s strong track record of economic success has generated benefits for both TFN and the surrounding region. Accomplishments have included multiple partnerships on diverse residential, commercial and industrial developments, such as the nearly complete $33-million Port of Vancouver container inspection facility on TFN’s industrial lands and Tsawwassen Mills, one of the largest shopping centres in Canada.
Tsawwassen First Nation has reinvested economic revenues in social programs, cultural initiatives and resources to support the health and prosperity of community members. In the past 10 years, these have included language classes, fully-funded tuition and living expenses for post-secondary students, a youth centre and supports for affordable housing. These projects have also generated jobs and economic opportunities for people across the Lower Mainland, demonstrating the meaningful benefits that modern treaties create for all Canadians.
Chief Bryce Williams, Tsawwassen First Nation –
“Today, we the people of Tsawwassen First Nation celebrate our Treaty as the document which provided us with a return to self-government. It has provided the power, clarity and certainty to lay the groundwork for prosperity and well-being. We will continue working with our partners, including the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada, toward fulfilling the spirit and intent at the heart of our Treaty, which is to help our people thrive and prosper.”
Scott Fraser, B.C.’s Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation –
“I offer my congratulations to Chief Bryce Williams and the people of the Tsawwassen First Nation on this very significant milestone. History was made 10 years ago, showing us all that a treaty is not the final destination, but rather the foundation for a new relationship that grows and flourishes over time. This relationship continues to bring us forward on our path to reconciliation because self-government and self-determination are key to that progress.”
Marc Miller, federal Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations –
“I would like to offer heartfelt congratulations to Chief Bryce Williams and the Tsawwassen people as they celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Effective Date of the Tsawwassen First Nation Final Agreement. It has been my pleasure to witness the Tsawwassen First Nation rapidly build on past economic successes and build partnerships to support the health and prosperity of their people. I look forward to the next 10 years.”
- The treaty negotiation process provides a framework for three parties – First Nations, B.C. and Canada – to work toward the common goal of reconciliation and to build a new relationship through treaties. Some major components integral to modern treaty-making include Indigenous rights, self-government, land and resources, financial agreements, fishing and forestry.
Tsawwassen First Nation: http://tsawwassenfirstnation.com/
A backgrounder follows.