Lheidli T’enneh to Take Second Vote on Treaty
Prince George, B.C.- It has been nearly ten years since the Lheidli T’enneh rejected the treaty negotiated under the BC Treaty process, and now there is word a second vote could take place by mid 2016.“We have been involved in the BC Treaty process since December 1993- exactly twenty- two years- so the time has come to work toward our final decision and set the direction for our future” says Chief Dominic Frederick.
The treaty was put to a vote in March of 2007. Of the 300 eligible voters, 233 cast a ballot, and the treaty was rejected by 52%. The process called for approval of 70% of eligible voters in order to pass. It is not yet clear if that same threshold will be in place for a second ballot.
Since then, work has focused on why members rejected the treaty, it was discovered that some members did not fully understand the terms or effect of the proposed agreement.
Chief Frederick says before the next vote is held, there will be an enhanced process of member consultation and communication “we are absolutely committed to fully informing all members.”
The Final Agreement which was put to the membership in that March 2007 vote would have provided the Lheidli T’enneh with nearly 4,300 hectares of treaty land ( including some within the Prince George City limits) a cash component of $27 million dollars (indexed to inflation) revenue sharing and fishing rights in addition to self governance.
“Much is being said about “reconciliation” says Chief Frederick, “and many people are asking what that means. We want to be clear that reconciling our Aboriginal rights with the rest of Canadian society has always been the main purpose of our treaty negotiations.