Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver – First Nations Summit (FNS) leaders were in Vancouver today for the release of the 2016 BC Treaty Commission (BCTC) Annual Report.

“We commend the BCTC for their 2016 Annual Report which provides a concise update on the status of treaty negotiations in BC and articulates how the negotiation of modern day treaties in BC is reflective of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the UN Declaration) and remains a viable and primary mechanism for BC First Nations to achieve reconciliation”, stated Robert Phillips of the First Nations Summit political executive.

“The BCTC Annual Report provides compelling stories and examples from First Nations that have implemented final agreements, on how their respective treaties have allowed them to escape the shackles of the Indian Act and create an environment whereby they actively work, under their own terms, to close the socio-economic gaps faced by their communities and become self-governing and economically prosperous Nations. What is unacceptable is, that only seven First Nations in 23 years of negotiations have been able to conclude and implement final agreements, largely due to Canada and BC’s historic lack of effective negotiating mandates as well as the necessary human and fiscal resources” added Cheryl Casimer of the FNS Political Executive.