Ditidaht and Pacheedaht First Nations move to final stage of treaty negotiations

Agreement in-principle signed on Friday

Two Sooke Region First Nations have signed an agreement-in-principle with the provincial and federal governments, moving them a step closer to establishing a formal treaty.

The agreement-in-principle outlines the elements of a treaty for the Ditidaht and Pacheedaht First Nations, including land and resource management, harvesting rights, cultural and heritage protection, and economic development.

Chief Robert Joseph of the Ditidaht First Nation said in a statement that Friday’s signing was a good step forward.

“It is good to finally reach this watershed moment in our treaty negotiations. It took us a long time to get here, but we are signing our [agreement-in-principle] today at least in part due to Ditidaht’s creative approach to resolving seemingly intractable problems,” Joseph said.

The agreement signed Friday at the Empress Hotel in Victoria begins the final stage of treaty negotiations with the communities on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island.

Treaty settlements with Ditidaht and Pacheedaht First Nations will include lands from the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve in the West Coast Trail and Nitinaht Lake area and adjacent to the Pacheedaht community.

The treaties will also support arrangements to preserve and enhance the West Coast Trail and support co-operative management within the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

A joint statement released by the bands and the federal and provincial governments said the treaty negotiations would be guided by new commitments to reconciliation.

“Our government is proud to work with the Ditidaht and Pacheedaht First Nations toward a renewed government-to-government relationship, based on rights, reconciliation and respect,” said Premier John Horgan, who is also the local MLA.

“As we recognize the Ditidaht and Pacheedaht First Nations for their work to reach today’s milestone, we remain committed to advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and building a better future for everyone in B.C., today and every day.”

The traditional territory of the Ditidaht First Nation stretches inland from Cowichan Lake, down through Nitinaht Lake, and to the coast between Bonilla Point and Pachena Point. The territory reaches out to sea to the salmon, halibut and cod banks and includes the headwaters of streams and rivers that drain to the coastline.

The traditional territory of the Pacheedaht First Nation includes the lands and waters along the southwest coast of Vancouver Island between Bonilla Point and Sheringham Point.

Just Posted

House fire in View Royal sends one to hospital Saturday morning

View Royal Fire Rescue says fire is now out

Camosun student starts bursary program for low-income students

The Jor-Dawn Smith Bursary will go to one Greater Victoria graduate in spring 2020

Victoria property company plans to replace Saanich apartments with townhouses

Abstract Developments plans 26 townhouses for Gorge Road West

Curtain closes on Sidney’s Star Cinema location

The iconic theatre will move to a temporary location after its last showing Sunday

Heads up! A new take on A Christmas Carol comes to the Mac

Wonderheads tackle the beloved Dickens classic, Dec. 17-18 at Victoria’s McPherson Playhouse

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

SOOKE HISTORY: The North Star and Sven Johansson

Elida Peers | Contributed Learning recently of the passing of Sven Johansson,… Continue reading

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

Sooke’s EMCS Wolverines drop season opener

Parkland best EMCS squad 81-64

Most Read