Home > Featured > We are all Treaty People: Tla’amin Nation Celebrates Eight Years of Relationship with its Neighbours
Tla’amin people mix and mingle with newcomers at tiskwat. Photo courtesy qathet archives 1913-1915.

We are all Treaty People: Tla’amin Nation Celebrates Eight Years of Relationship with its Neighbours

April 5, 2024

Today, Tla’amin Nation celebrates the eighth anniversary of its modern treaty and self-government agreement. 

Modern day treaty making, as it was conceived of when the BC Treaty Commission opened its doors, was to negotiate a fair settlement to the outstanding land question in British Columbia. Back then, it was a process often mired in controversy as is normal when parties are reexamining how they share land, resources, and power.

For Tla’amin, a modern treaty provided a framework to protect First Nations rights and title within its traditional territory including the right to hunt, fish and gather cultural resources. It protected large tracts of Tla’amin territory which was increasingly being bought up by private owners. It also provided for proper government-to-government relationships.

By design, the treaty process included many voices. It was widely recognized that the outcome of negotiations – a modern treaty – belonged not only to Tla’amin but to other orders of government and by extension, neighbours, and citizens. 

Achieving one of the few modern treaties in BC required open dialogue with city and regional district partners. This included sharing our land use plans, collaborating on economic opportunities and penning a strong Community Accord and award-winning protocol agreement on “Culture, Heritage, and Economic Development” with the city. This commitment to open dialogue and transparency was incorporated into many aspects of the Treaty itself, and into Tla’amin laws. 

Hegus John Hackett says this recent history can guide our future relations, “No one is going anywhere, and we’ve always said that this is everyone’s treaty. The valued partnerships created on our self-determination journey are no less important today than they were 30 years ago. Being an isolated community we only have each other to depend on and we look forward to refreshing these relationships with leadership so that our whole region many thrive.” 

Hegus continued, “Our hands are raised with respect to our neighbours who continue to grow, share, and learn alongside us. As responsible neighbors it is our governing responsibility to stand upon our treaty foundation and find common ground to improve the quality of life of all our citizens.”

Tla’amin citizens will celebrate treaty day on May 2nd, 2024, with a feast and social dance at the Tla’amin Spring General Assembly.

Contact: Media@tn-bc.ca