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

One dead following pedestrian collision in South Surrey’s Campbell Heights

Incident occurred just after 7 a.m. on 24 Avenue near 188 Street

Borrow $8 billion for Fraser Valley rail link, Abbotsford mayor urges province

Henry Braun urges province to borrow billions to connect Abbotsford & Chilliwack to Metro Vancouver

Elderly pedestrian killed in Vancouver crash with Surrey delivery van

Elderly woman was in marked crosswalk with husband when she was hit

Anti-pipeline protests in support of Wet’suwet’en continue at B.C. government buildings

‘We are unarmed, they have guns,’ protesters chanted on Wednesday morning

Harry and Meghan should cover their own security costs: NDP heritage critic

The prince, Meghan Markle and their eight-month-old son Archie are reportedly staying at a mansion near Victoria

Theo the 800-pound pig trimmed down and still looking for love on Vancouver Island

“He’s doing really well, lost quite a few pounds and can run now.”

Pooches Jasper and Jake bring comfort to Abbotsford Police Department

Comfort dogs there for cuddles and play time when needed

Horgan unveils B.C. cabinet shuffle changes

Premier John Horgan has made three major changes to his cabinet

Dog reunited with Tofino owner, months after being taken from beach

Shannon Boothman ‘ecstatic’ at pet’s return after a tip leads to social media search

B.C.’s first ride-hailing app to launch in Tofino, Whistler in February

The Whistle! app will be available in Tofino on Feb.1 and in Whistler Feb. 6.

Councillor resigns in Revelstoke after colleagues approved 67% raise

Council approved a 134 per cent raise for the mayor of Revelstoke

Rolled-over dairy truck in Abbotsford lost 40,000 litres of milk

Truck removed Sunday, Jan. 19, with specialized equipment to upright vehicle

Most Read

l -->