Wednesday May 18, 2011

BC Gov't News

Yale First Nation Signs Historic Treaty

Deal includes $10.7-million plus $2.2 economic stimulus

Released by Gov't of BC


lacing drawings and handwritten stories into a time capsule, Premier Christy Clark and Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister Mary Polak joined Yale Chief Robert Hope and youth from the Yale First Nation to celebrate the introduction of provincial legislation to ratify.


“The Yale Final Agreement is an extraordinary instrument for the Yale people to create a better future for their families as a self-governing community,” said Premier Clark. “Every British Columbian benefits when individual communities are strong and local economies thrive – that’s what a treaty does and what the Yale treaty will do.”

“The Yale First Nation is the seventh First Nation, under the B.C. treaty process, to witness the introduction of their treaty legislation in the B.C. Legislature,” said Minister Polak. “The people of the Yale First Nation have worked tirelessly over the past 17 years to realize a treaty for their families and should be applauded for their efforts.”

“This treaty brings unprecedented economic and social opportunities to our nation as the foundation upon which we, the Yale people, will build our own government and exercise jurisdiction over our own lands,” said Chief Hope. “Our greatest wish is for a ‘treaty-future’ for our children and we look forward to the final phase of the process.”

“We congratulate the Yale First Nation people for proving to the world that a small, determined First Nation can realize its vision to make life better with a treaty,” said B.C. Treaty Commission Chief Commissioner Sophie Pierre. “As Yale First Nation begins to turn its attention to treaty implementation, an important task will be working out the relationship with its neighbours.”

The Yale First Nation Final Agreement includes self-government provisions and phases out tax exemptions. The treaty will provide Yale with a capital transfer of $10.7 million, economic development funding of $2.2 million and 1,966 hectares of land owned in fee simple, made up of 217 hectares of former Yale Indian reserves and 1,749 hectares of Crown lands.

The Final Agreement clearly defines Yale First Nation’s ownership and management of mineral, forestry and other resources on treaty settlement lands. The Final Agreement also defines Yale’s rights related to fishing, gathering and harvesting.

The Yale First Nation, which is made up of about 150 members, is located near Hope. Sixty-eight per cent of Yale members cast ballots in favour of the Final Agreement in a community ratification vote held in March. Negotiations towards this treaty began in 1994.

Once the Yale First Nation Treaty Settlement Legislation has been debated, and if passed by provincial legislators, settlement legislation must also be approved by the Parliament of Canada. The treaty will take effect on a date agreed to by the parties.

In addition to the Yale Final Agreement, since 2002, the B.C. government has signed treaties with six other First Nations, including the Tsawwassen First Nation and the five First Nations of the Maa-nulth First Nations Treaty. The Province continues to make steady progress towards final agreements with the In-SHUCK-ch, Tla’amin and Yekooche First Nations.

For more information about the Yale First Nation Final Agreement, please visit:



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