A new map of the Coast?

A new map for BC

In the case of Tsilhqot’in First Nation, the Supreme Court of Canada recently decided that aboriginal title never got extinguished. And Premier Clark recently declared that the treaty process is not working–part of her reasoning for cancelling the appointment of the province’s treaty commissioner.

treaties-bc-01-001

Perhaps it is not working because most of BC has returned to First Nations title?

Perhaps the hard truth is that the British Columbia has legally shrunk to a handful of treaty lands covering less than 1/3 of the land area?

Perhaps the new reality is that First Nations do not have to participate in treaties any more?

 

Should First Nations establish a new Province?

treaties-bc-03b-001Perhaps First Nations could in fact create a new Province of the Peoples of the Coast (black outline), with a capital and legislature where First Nations people want it — Prince George? Kamloops? Prince Rupert? Or an entirely new, planned, capital city? And a provincial regime that assets the constitutional rights of the landowners? A capital where foreign embassies for other Provinces, the federal government, Province of BC treaty nations (red) and other States could locate?

 

Should Lower BC become a Megacity-sized Province?

lowerbc

We have a funny situation. Most of BC has nothing in common with the metropolitan area on its lower big toe. But that ‘big toe’ governs everything.

In the face of the Supreme Court decision, is that equitable? In the face of that decision, after the horror of the residential schools, isn’t the right thing self-governance under the United Nations Charter?


Maps:

https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/DAM/DAM-INTER-HQ-AI/STAGING/texte-text/mprm_treaties_th-ht_bc_1371839407696_eng.pdf

http://www.bctreaty.net/nations/nation_maps/Treaty-Negotiations-in-British-Columbia-Map.pdf

Sacred Priorities Protocol

ChilcotinMapRecognizing the intangibles of the new relationship.  SPP link here

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed title to the Tsilhqot’in Nation.

The Tsilhqot’in Nation in British Columbia have always possessed aboriginal title to approximately 2,000 square kilometres of land.  The decision – the first to recognize aboriginal title to specific real property – explicitly renounces the Euro-British doctrine of terra nullius. The doctrine claimed that no one owned the land before the Crown claimed it, and the Court has determined that this has no basis in Canadian law.

The Crown (as the embodiment of the State) is required to obey the letter and spirit of its own treaties of shared rule, originating with the Royal Proclamation of 1763.

‘ “This is the fulfillment of that promise, held out by the Crown 250 years ago.”

Brian Slattery, Osgoode Hall Law School’

 Aboriginal Title

  • Control of ancestral lands and the right to use them for modern economic purposes, without destroying those lands for future generations.
  • Government can create works that show overwhelming value, but have to show substantive consultation and must reconcile those needs with aboriginal rights to title.
  • The Court explicitly states that the decision holds for all lands that were not ceded to the Crown by treaty.
  • Nearly all of BC.

 

Sacred Priorities Protocol – Could this be a way forward?

Seeding a Community-led Sacred Priorities Joint Mapping Database Initiative to map valuation zones for joint resource and economic development projects

I’ve been networking a respectful technical solution through industry since 2010.

There have been complaints that intangible cultural values are not scientific and therefore should not be allowable at Environmental Review Boards.

SPP proposes a method to have local communities assign values to intangible values, such as landscapes, as scientific/technical values…as a means to find win-wins vs. the old Might Makes Right way of resource extraction.

It is written here at a granular level, with an example and flowchart, for use at the very start of industrial development planning. Years and millions of dollars before a project is assessed by regulators. For example, with mining, after test drilling has identified an economic ore body but before the start of ore body extraction planning.

  • SPP flows out of watching mining projects fail across in BC.
  • The procedure could be used to create technical and governance win-win expertise.
  • Expertise exportable around the globe.

But to work, any Protocol must be centred in the good earth of respect for First Nations Law and Title.

And acknowledgement that when we Europeans and British arrived, we privatized property that wasn’t ours.

If we don’t acknowledge our own law, why should First Nations acknowledge it either?

 

Dave Huer