Our community resides just north of the city of Powell River in British Columbia, along Highway 101. Our Nation is one of the many indigenous Coast Salish tribes inhabiting the Pacific Northwest Coast. Our people are descendants of a rich heritage with a history that stretches back well over 4000 years into the past.
All of our economic and political systems along with our spirituality were based on our relationship with the traditional territory of our ancestors and their unique relationship with the land.
Our traditional territory spanned along the northern part of B.C.’s Sunshine Coast, extending down both sides of the Straight of Georgia, occupying an area over 400 square kilometers in size. This consisted of numerous permanent and temporary settlements within our borders. Our people also frequently ventured outside of our territory to trade with our neighbors up and down the coast.
Today, our community has over 1100 members with the majority living in the main village site in Sliammon. We have a young population that is rapidly growing with over 60% of our members under the age of 40.
Tla’amin Final Agreement (Treaty)
Since 1876 Aboriginal rights have been governed by the “Indian Act” imposed upon indigenous peoples by the separate colonies of British North America prior to confederation.
“The purpose of the act, as stated by its drafters, was to administer Indian affairs in such a way that Indian people would feel compelled to renounce their Indian status and join Canadian civilization as a full members: a process called enfranchisement.” Wikipedia
Needless to say the Indian Act has been a source of serious trauma for all First Nations people.
Over the last 20 years, the Tla’amin Nation has been negotiating a fair treaty settlement with the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada. The goal of the treaty is to restore our right to self-govern and for the legal return of land title.
The negotiations have finished and the Tla’amin Final Agreement has been approved and ratified by all parties involved. We are now in the final stages of moving into self-governance, with the Treaty Effective Date anticipated to be in April 2016.
The Treaty will bring many benefits to our people and future generations, and will dramatically alter the status of our Nation in a very positive way.