LETTERS: Treaty history misses mark

Editor:

Re: A brief history of treaty talks, July 8 BC Views.

Editor:

Re: A brief history of treaty talks, July 8 BC Views.

Columnist Tom Fletcher raises some contentious points about B.C. treaty talks.

One, Fletcher uses the word “endorsed” to describe the results of the 2002 B.C. provincial referendum on aboriginal treaties. With only 36 per cent of eligible voters having cast a ballot – in which seven per cent were spoiled – it’s difficult to conclude “endorsement” of the government’s stance was achieved.

Two, there was significant opposition to not only the referendum but to Victoria’s position on treaties.

Former judge Thomas Berger harshly criticized the government not only for trying to circumvent aboriginal constitutional rights, but also for previously taking legal action against the 1998 Nisga’a treaty. In a 2002 article, Berger accused the Liberals of asking “the people of the province to give us a mandate to treat aboriginal rights as non-existent.”

As well, attorney-general Geoff Plant pledged that the Liberals would never agree to another Nisga’a-type self-government agreement, which they believed gave First Nations too much power. Victoria was dedicated to imposing a delegated, municipal-style government on natives, a position the referendum was designed to support. Plant went on to add insult to injury when he proclaimed, “you cannot have self-government for 150 people, 50 per cent of whom are FAS or FAE (fetal alcohol syndrome/effect).”

Interestingly, at no time did then-deputy premier Christy Clark ever contradict her government’s actions.

The way forward remains in both recognition of aboriginal constitutional rights, and the sharing of land and resources among all British Columbians, a strategy supported by First Nations.

Bob Burgel, Surrey

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Residents showcased as ‘companion’ sculpture unveiled

Amica White Rock welcomes bronze guardian, celebrates resident talent

Homemade explosives detonated in South Surrey

Police asking public for help identifying those responsible

Surrey students paint mural, paying homage to First Nations, at SkyTrain station

Artwork to showcase ‘positivity and racial inclusivity in the city’

White Rock highrise on hold after workers exhibit ‘severe’ overexposure symptoms

WorkSafeBC issued stop-work order at 1588 Johnston Rd. site on July 24

More than 50,000 checks: Surrey COVID-19 compliance, enforcement team’s role has ‘evolved’

Joint bylaw, RCMP team created to help with coronavirus education, support

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

PHOTOS/VIDEO: Wings and Wheels set for weekend lift-off in Abbotsford

Fundraiser to raise money for Crystal Gala Foundation and the fight against breast cancer

Undercover video shows alleged animal abuse at Fraser Valley egg farm

One employee wearing logo of Chilliwack chicken-catching company already facing abuse charges

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

Most Read