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in shuck ch

Treaty negotiations among the In-SHUCK-ch N’Quat’qua, Canada and the province of British Columbia reached an historic milestone Tuesday with the initialing of seven chapters of the final agreement and the release of another five chapters for public discussion. It’s believed there is only one other First Nation in the current treaty negotiation process which has initialed documents. There are now 14 chapters of the final In-SHUCK-ch N’Quat’qua treaty document which have been released to the public. The provincial government recognized the advanced state of treaty negotiations with the In-SHUCK-ch N’Quat’qua Tuesday by announcing three projects: a wildlife study of In-SHUCK-ch N’Quat’qua lands, surveying for an upgrade to the Pemberton-Douglas Forest Service Road which runs through the lands, and unveiling a plan to re-patriate In-SHUCK-ch N’Quat’qua children who were put up for adoption. The progress the In-SHUCK-ch N’Quat’qua have made in treaty negotiations has caught many people’s attention, including some surrounding First Nations who are wary of losing some of their traditional lands in an In-SHUCK-ch N’Quat’qua settlement. At Tuesday’s initialing ceremony in the Pemberton Community Centre a representative of the Lillooet Tribal Council interrupted proceedings to read a statement denouncing the treaty process. The Lillooet Tribal Council and the In-SHUCK-ch N’Quat’qua — particularly chief negotiator Gerard Peters — are at odds over what the treaty process will leave their people with. The Lillooet suggest their lands will be "extinguished in exchange for money" and their people will be confined to reserves and small settlement lands under the treaty process. Peters has written to the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs questioning LTC Chair Mike Leach’s representation of himself as a tribal chief. "If he represents himself as a ‘tribal chief,’ this infers that there is a ‘tribal entity.’ Quite simply, there is not." Peters wrote. And Peters may be facing some opposition from his own people, too. As the In-SHUCK-ch N’Quat’qua begin discussion on land some of Peters’ people have asked to slow the negotiation process. Still, what the In-SHUCK-ch N’Quat’qua have accomplished to date in treaty negotiations probably surpasses all other First Nations in B.C., with the exception of the Nisga’a who began their negotiations many years prior to the establishment of the B.C. Treaty Commission. The seven chapters initialed Tuesday related to governance, including child protection and adoption, police services and delivery of federal and provincial services under the Criminal Code. As federal negotiator Robin Dobson said, initialing the documents means the parties are satisfied with their contents, "but it doesn’t mean they are cast in stone. They can be revisited. We are not, in any sense of the word, tying anybody’s hands." The five new draft chapters released this week pertain to an In-SHUCK-ch N’Quat’qua court system, water rights, environmental protection, parks and other protected areas, and a draft amendment.

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