Thursday, July 26, 2007

Tsawwassen Comes Around

Feels good
I'm playing with a pleasure trafficker
Arriving soon intergalactica
I'm holding heaven in my hands
It's automatic baby and it feels good

Tsawwassen band approves land treaty
By John Bermingham, The Province

The first urban land treaty between a B.C. native band and the provincial and federal governments was struck last night.

"Our members were very brave," said Tsawwassen band Chief Kim Baird. "They have decided that this treaty is our way forward."

Almost three-quarters of the 180 band members who voted were in favour of the deal giving the band 207 hectares of farmland currently in the Agricultural Land Reserve. The treaty is worth $120 million to the band and includes $20 million in cash.

"This was a hard-fought vote," Baird said. "But now we have to put it behind us. Now, more than ever, we're going to have to work together to implement the treaty."

Reader, you may already know that I worked at Indian Affairs and as an auditor of Native bands, and I know firsthand the huge obstacles that Natives in BC must overcome in their lives (ie: Racism, historical baggage, etc). I think that settlements of this kind are key to settling pasts disputes and moving forward. Some key points in the treaty:
-The Natives will eventually pay taxes
-The band will join the GVRD and obtain access to clean drinking water
-The band will receive 400 hectares for an industrial park
I am totally behind this effort to settle the land claims effort and I applaud the province for taking on this colossal effort to resolve these claims. The NDP should get behind this vote and show some support for this agreement.

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