SLIAMMON - The community of Tla'amin (Sliammon) Nation near Powell River celebrated a milestone in the treaty process at an event marking the transfer of three parcels of land to Tla'amin Nation in advance of their treaty being implemented.
Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Mary Polak spent the day in the community meeting with students and youth, and attending the community celebration.
On Oct. 21, 2011, chief negotiators for Canada, British Columbia and the Tla'amin Nation initialled a final agreement that included a commitment to transfer ownership of four parcels of land before the effective date of the treaty.
Three of the parcels are being transferred at this time, with a fourth parcel to be transferred in the coming months. The three parcels are:
* Oyster Plant parcel - 0.16 hectares of filled foreshore adjacent to the Tla'amin-owned property at the end of Cannery Road on the Okeover Inlet.
* Westview parcel - Three district lots of approximately 48.3 hectares that are part of a much larger parcel of treaty land. The Westview early transfer parcel is within the municipal boundary of Powell River and is bordered in the north by Tanner Avenue and Covey Road.
* Wharf Street - 0.08 hectares located close to the ferry terminal in Powell River. It is the parking lot at the intersection of Wharf Street and Willingdon Avenue.
* The total area of the three early transfer parcels is approximately 48.5 hectares.
Treaties and non-treaty agreements generate jobs for families and provide opportunities for First Nations and non-First Nation communities alike. They bring certainty to the land base, facilitate investment and build economic independence for First Nations.
The Tla'amin Final Agreement contains provisions for self-government, financial and land transfers. The land component will consist of approximately 8,322 hectares of treaty lands that include surface and sub-surface resources, and are comprised of 1,917 hectares of former Indian Reserves and 6,405 hectares of former Provincial Crown lands.
The final agreement will provide certainty with respect to Tla'amin Nation's treaty rights and title throughout its traditional territory. It will also provide opportunities for the First Nation to increase its participation in regional government.
Tla'amin Nation members who are eligible to vote will be going to the polls between June 8 and 16 to vote on the final agreement. If ratified, the next step would be for B.C. and Canada to introduce legislation, after which a date would be set for implementation of the treaty.
The Tla'amin Nation has approximately 990 members. Their traditional territory and reserve lands are located just north of Powell River.
Mary Polak, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation -
"The Tla'amin community has waited a long time for their treaty. The early transfer of land under this agreement provides some tangible benefits today as the work continues towards ratification and implementation. The land we are transferring supports opportunities for Tla'amin Nation to pursue community opportunities ahead of the treaty effective date."
Clint Williams, Chief of Tla'amin Nation -
"The early transfer of these three parcels of land is a significant step on the road to treaty for the Tla'amin Nation. These are tangible benefits that voters can point to as concrete examples of progress. The lands were selected for their economic development potential and the early transfer will allow the people of Tla'amin Nation to benefit from the value of the lands much sooner."
For more information about Tla'amin Nation and treaties in B.C., go to:
To view maps of the three parcels of transferred land, go to:
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
250 361-7720 (cell)
604 483-8146 (cell)
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect