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Flaws Identified in the Treaty Process

The Province prints an editorial today (or here) identifying problems with the BC Treaty Process. Among them is the lack of incentive for First Nations (and the associated treaty-industry) to settle; there is too much money to be made by endless negotiations. The Province proposes a bonus system similar to that which the BC Government has used in contract negotiations with unions. (This idea was raised by former Yukon Premier Tony Penikett last fall.)

The editorial also points to the problem of overlapping claims. It notes that there are challenges to the Tsawwassen Treaty by a neighbouring group. The editorial leads me to sense that litigation over infringements to the rights of neighbours could follow that treaty.

Overlaps are an age-old problem in the Treaty Process. Questions about them led to criticisms of the Nisga’a Treaty after its conclusion in the late 1990s. The editorial rightly notes that the problem stems from the insistence that the First Nations settle territorial overlaps themselves. No solutions are offered.


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