(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, August 29, 2007) “In January 2006, the UBCIC Chiefs Council passed Resolution 2006-06 rejecting the FRA template on the basis that the benefits provided do not constitute an acceptable standard for economic accommodation for the infringement of Aboriginal Title and Rights; recognition of Aboriginal Title is fundamental to the success of the New Relationship and provisions within the template has an opposite effect; and the allocation under the agreement must include long-term tenures.” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.
Grand Chief Phillip continued, “The Chiefs Council of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs has long sought means to substantially change the intent and the economic viability of the Forest and Range Agreements signed by many First Nations in the Province. The UBCIC shares the frustrations of the Nadleh Whut’en, Stellat’en and Saik’uz First Nations in their collective efforts to resolve this economic crisis”
“The Nadleh Whut’en are facing an increasing level of anxiety and the Government of British Columbia must be held accountable” said Grand Chief Phillip. “If the government can make concessions for industry giants such as Canfor, surely the same consideration can be extended to ensure the economic viability of the existing agreements.”
“Many First Nations throughout the province are finding these forestry agreements are not economically viable. The Union of BC Indian Chiefs call upon Premier Campbell and Forestry Minister Coleman to immediately intervene and address this growing crisis. If this crisis continues to grow and push comes to shove, make no mistake, the UBCIC will be stand side-by-side with the Nadleh Whut'en, Stellat'en and Saik'uz First Nations” concluded Grand Chief Phillip.
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FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip
UBCIC is a NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.