Open House on Lheidli T’enneh Treaty
Prince George, B.C. – With the Lheidli T’enneh set to have a second vote on the treaty developed with the Province nearly 10 years ago, an open house has been set for this week to share details of that package.
The open house is set for Wednesday at the Civic Centre from 5 – 8 pm.
The Lheidli T’enneh will be holding their second vote on the treaty this fall. The package remains the same as the one rejected in the first vote in 2007.
The package for the Lheidli T’enneh includes 4330 hectares of land, and out of that, about 1183 hectares is land that is located within the boundaries of the City of Prince George.” The City has been holding those parcels since 2007 when the final agreement was developed pending the potential for a second vote. The agreement also provides a cash component of $27 million dollars (indexed to inflation) revenue sharing and fishing rights in addition to self governance.
Minister of Aboriginal Relations John Rustad says the open house is an opportunity for members of the Lheidli T’enneh to get more details on the treaty “One of the things that is critical to any vote, is to make sure people have accurate information. Often, as we have seen in other treaty votes and in the case of the Lheidli T’enneh, there is a lot of misinformation that goes around, there’s rumours, there’s partial information, what the open house does is make sure people have the information, have people hear what the plans are, most importantly to make sure people have an informed vote.”
Rustad doesn’t think the treaty will have any direct impact on the residents of Prince George “I think what you will see is additional integration between Lheidli T’enneh and Prince George upon a successful vote. That’s not to say they don’t work well now, but as Lheidli expands or takes advantage of the lands they might have, or other resources that would be available through a successful treaty I’m sure, there will be numerous reciprocal agreements that would be arranged between the Nation and the City. For people in general, what we have seen in other treaties in B.C. we’ve seen an unleashing of some economic potential that will certainly benefit the whole region.”
If accepted, it is possible the Lheidli T’enneh would have a seat at the table of the Regional District’s Board of Directors, that has been the case in other regions of the Province where treaties have been ratified says Rustad.
The vote will be held in three different locations in October, in Vancouver on October 15th, Prince Rupert October 18th , and in Prince George on October 21st and 22nd.