Treaties edging closer

WITH A federal election just finished, the campaign by the provincial government to save its HST about to start, a probable provincial election in the early fall and local government elections already set for November, 2011 is shaping up to be one of the more complicated governmental years in decades.

WITH A federal election just finished, the campaign by the provincial government to save its HST about to start, a probable provincial election in the early fall and local government elections already set for November, 2011 is shaping up to be one of the more complicated governmental years in decades.

And, for the peoples of Kitsumkalum and Kitselas, add another dimension – continued work which could lead within the year to agreements in principle setting out the structure for respective treaties with the provincial and federal governments.

There’s been years of work already gone into negotiations and much work yet to be done.

It’s also important to remember that the eventual treaties mean as much to the region as to the Kitsumkalum and Kitselas peoples themselves.

That’s because they will set out how the framework for how economic, social, government and cultural relationships will work in this area. Far from being abstract concepts written in legal language, the treaties will be living documents.

There are already economic development examples to consider outside of treaties – Kitselas and Kitsumkalum forest licences and cooperation between the Kitselas and Swift Power’s plans for small run-of-river hydroelectric projects come to mind. Treaties will build on these examples by bringing much-needed certainty and stability.

The above is the editorial in the May 4, 2011 print edition of The Terrace Standard.