Learning from other Nations

Posted on March 3, 2024

On February 13, 2024, Kitselas Members joined us for the Kitselas Treaty first Speaker Series event. 

Interviewed by Kitselas Member and Councillor Gerald Nyce, Tla’amin First Nation Chief Negotiator Roy Francis spent an hour and a half online sharing Tla’amin’s experience of going through the treaty process. The Tla’amin Nation (formerly known as the Sliammon First Nation) is located in BC’s Sunshine Coast, just north of Powell River. 

On April 5, 2016, Tla’amin Nation became a modern, self-governing nation within Canada. Minutes before midnight, its citizens threw pages from the Indian Act into a bonfire in front of the nation’s governance house.

In just eight years post-ratification, the Nation has gone from 200 people on social assistance to just 7. Economic development has improved, a new hotel built, and Nation members are able to sell their homes to others within their lands. In addition, the Nation fully funds all youth going into post-secondary school like college and university.

Roy emphasized, “we are a lot better off than we were before treaty. Our land base has grown, funding position has improved; we have law-making authorities, and more resources since treaty.”  

But he also mentioned, that, with Treaty, there’s still a lot of work to do. 

Roy says, “A completed treaty isn’t the end of the work, it’s really the beginning of the work. But it’s also really important to know that things don’t have to be perfect. For example, you can go back into laws and change them, you can revise and update over time as things evolve and grow.” 

Interested in how other Nations worked their way through treaty? Come with your questions and join us at the next session! 

Our next Speaker Series presenter will be: 
Mary Childs representing Tsawwassen First Nation
Date: Monday, March 11, 7:00 PM
Online through Zoom
Join us and learn more!

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