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October 27, 2017 8:46 pm

Treaty Vote Postponed

Thursday, October 13, 2016 @ 6:01 AM

Prince George, B.C. – The Lheidli T’enneh  vote on the  treaty  proposal  that was presented  a decade ago,  will not be going forward as  initially planned.“We just aren’t ready” says Lheidli T’enneh Chief Dominic Frederick.  “We need the majority of our people to understand  what the treaty is and understand it.”

The Lheidli T’enneh  had announced in January that  they would be holding a second vote on the same treaty package that was  rejected  by a small  margin in April of 2007.

In the months leading up to  what was supposed to be the start of balloting  tomorrow,  the Lheidli Tenneh  have been providing information to its membership on  what the Treaty is, and isn’t.

Chief Frederick  advised the  Lheidli T’enneh of  the   postponement of this second  vote in the following notice:

“The Lheidli T’enneh Ratification Committee (the Committee) has decided to postpone the ratification vote for the Lheidli T’enneh Final Agreement and Constitution, presently scheduled for October 2016, to ensure the membership of Lheidli T’enneh has adequate time to learn about the treaty and to make a good informed decision.

The Committee will determine a new vote date in accordance with the Final Agreement once it is in receipt of information from the Parties that will allow it to conduct a vote in accordance with the Committee’s obligations.”

The  Parties referred to   are the Provincial and Federal Governments.   B.C.’s Minister of Aboriginal  relations,  John Rustad says the Province has provided written  support for the postponed  vote,  “If additional time is what’s required to make that work  so that people  can have the best information when they go to vote, that’s probably not a bad thing.”

So while the Province has supported this delay,  there has not yet been word  from the Federal Government.  The Federal Government  must  grant an extension  ( this would be the second extension if granted) to the  time limit  allowed for that  second  ballot.

The voting was supposed to start  in Vancouver  on Friday,  with subsequent ballots  conducted  next week in  Prince Rupert,  then  at the Lheidli T’enneh Administration office  in Shelley,  and wrapping up  at the Coast Inn of the North on the 22nd.

There is no confirmed  date for the  second vote.

Treaty  Highlights:

  • self governance
  • land ownership,  (4330 hectares) which includes  the  two Reserves and  properties in Prince George
  • access to natural resources  on Lheidli T’enneh lands
  • stable funding,  with  $18 million  in a cash settlement   a further $12 million to  implement the agreement and annual payments of $1.8 million  for programs and services
  • hunting and fishing rights are retained




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