Tla’amin Nation, Canada & BC Final Treaty: April 5
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STARTING A LONG TIME AGO THIS IS TLA’AMIN TERRITORY Tla’amin people “live and invest” here for millennia. (The oldest “scientific” evidence of settlements is 7,600 years old, at Saltery Bay and Grace Harbour. )
1701 TO 1923 • TREATY ERA The Queen & Canada sign dozens of treaties with First Nations, intended as government-to-government agreements to ensure peace and clarity about land use (note: it didn’t always work out that way). Unlike the rest of Canada, very little of what is now BC was settled by treaty. It remained unceded, even as non-First Nations settled on it - including the area around Powell River.
Overestimating the importance of the final treaty between the people of Canada, BC and Tla’amin? Impossible. April 5 begins a new era for ev-
eryone who lives in the Powell River region. While the treaty doesn’t fix all historical and current injustices, it is a critical step towards right relations, and reconciliation.
1860s & 70s TLA’AMIN’S ERA OF CONTACT
1990s • CULTURAL REVIVAL
First missionaries and the first Indian Agent arrive. The reserve is created. The residential school era begins.
1876 • INDIAN ACT SIGNED Federal government’s statute that governs First Nations in Canada, including reserve lands and money.
1994 • TLA’AMIN TREATY PROCESS BEGINS
1867 • CANADA CONFEDERATES 1871 • BC JOINS CANADA
2003 • TLA’AMIN-POWELL RIVER COMMUNITY ACCORD SIGNED 2008 • RECONCILIATION ERA Federal government apologizes for residential schools. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission begins its work.
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European diseases precede contact at Tla’amin. Smallpox, tuberculosis, Spanish flu, measles affect people in this region for the next 150 years.
1850-1854 • DOUGLAS TREATIES 14 land purchases / treaties are signed between the British Colony at Victoria and Vancouver Island First Nations.
1899 • LAST OLD BC TREATY Treaty 8 covers Northern Alberta and North-Eastern BC.
1923 • TREATY ERA ENDS The Government of Canada makes it illegal for First Nations to hire lawyers and pursue land claims. The first era of treaty-signing ends - with no treaty ever having been signed with Tla’amin.
1949 • VOTE! All First Nations people gain the right to vote in Canada.
1951 • POTLATCH BAN IS LIFTED. 1960s & 1970s DEVELOPMENT AT TLA’AMIN
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1993 • BC TREATY COMMISSION The Province of BC creates the BC Treaty Commission, a process to negotiate comprehensive modern treaties with the 60+ First Nations that never ceded land or rights.
1780s • DISEASES
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Residential school era is over. SD47 implements Tla’amin language classes.
Tla’amin reserve gets electricity, telephones and plumbing. The band builds many of the buildings that exist there today, including houses, the sewage treatment plant, the salmon hatchery, and more. Still, a curfew remains, and segregation on transportation and in public buildings is common.
2012 • TLA’AMIN VOTES “YES” FOR TREATY 2016 • APRIL 5 FINAL TREATY IMPLEMENTED So far, the 23-year-old BC Treaty Commission process has implemented three treaties. Tla’amin’s was the third; Tsawwassen First Nation and Maanulth First Nations (a group of five nations on eastern Vancouver Island) were signed in 2009 and 2011. The Nisga’a Treaty, settled in 2000, was negotiated outside the Treaty Commission process. Nine agreementsin-principal are signed (but not yet implemented) under the commission - and another 51 BC First Nations in other stages of negotiations.
Published on Apr 4, 2016
Powell River Living's April edition looks at the implementation of the Tla'amin Treaty and totem pole carving. There's also a feature about...