CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C. – A First Nation has signed an agreement that will return more than 3,000 hectares of land after more than two decades of negotiations. www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/environment/natural-resource-stewardship/consulting-with-first-nations/agreements/we_wai_kai_incremental_treaty_agreement_17jun2019_signed.pdf “This agreement supports the capacity building and revenue we need to get we self-sufficient as soon as possible in stages,” said Mr. Fraser. “We arrived here on our trip together because we have established a relationship of trust, and I look forward to the many positive economic results of this stage.” Earlier this year, the federal and provincial governments announced that Aboriginal rights could not be extinguished or abandoned as part of the contract process. The Treaty Society of Wei Wai Kumiakah (WKTS) consists of two nations: Wei Wai Kum (Campbell River Indian Band) and Kwiakah. WKTS was founded in 2014 after We Wai Kai (Cap Mudge) left the former treatment company. WKTS works within the framework of the BC Contracts Commission procedure. The contract team and negotiators from Canada and the BC generally meet monthly to advance modern contract negotiations. Our treaty negotiating team is working hard to get input and advice from our members and negotiate a draft treaty to refer to our members. Our goal is to present our members with a draft treaty for review and ratification that recognizes and protects our rights and rights of indigenous peoples, restores a considerable amount of land to our nations, recognizes our governance and jurisdiction, provides resources for health, social, educational and other programs, and provides a solid foundation, a land base and an economic basis for a better future for our nations and members.
In 2019, WKTS reached a Level 5 agreement. Millions of dollars of spending and appropriations raised by First Nations in the treaty process were also provided. We Wai Kai Nation and the provincial government have signed an agreement. This agreement pushes the First Nation and the province to enter into a treaty. According to a statement from the province, the agreement includes a modern and innovative approach to modern contract negotiations and promises to create early economic development for We Wai Wharf. The Incremental Treaty Agreement will return approximately 3,075 hectares of land in Lower Campbell Lake to We Wai Wharf. The country`s return will help increase the nation`s participation in local forestry and ensure long-term benefits for the Community. “We`ve been at the contract table for a long time and we know it`s important to show that contracts are more than words,” said Brian Assu, chief of the We Wai Kai Nation. “We continue to participate in treaty negotiations as a primary vehicle to achieve our nation`s goals and create a future for our people, based on security, strength and prosperity.