News Release - Gitxsan and Tsimshian
19 February 2013
Gitxsan and Tsimshian work together
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 18, 2013
VANCOUVER—The BC Treaty Commission recognizes and supports the ongoing engagement between the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs and two of the Tsimshian First Nations, Kitselas and Kitsumkalum, in their efforts to resolve their overlapping territorial issues.
Kitselas and Kitsumkalum are both advancing towards community votes on their Agreements-in-Principle. With the assistance of the Treaty Commission, the Nations have agreed to work together to design a process aimed at reconciling their differences and cooperating on joint interests. The goal is to find a mutually agreeable resolution that builds on their existing cooperation and good relations. Gitxsan interests are to protect their Land Tenure System; Kitselas and Kitsumkalum interests are to move forward from AiP and to continue on to Final Agreement.
Tsimshian and Gitxsan are neighbours, and have long been members working collaboratively on common issues and interests, through the Northwest Tribal Treaty and the Skeena Fisheries Commission. The Nations recognize that they have family ties and relationships that support working together to find solutions.
As Keeper of the Process, the Treaty Commission encourages First Nations to make best efforts to work with their neighbours, on a Nation-to-Nation basis to resolve their disputes. Overlapping territory issues have become one of the biggest challenges facing the BC treaty process in recent years. There have been some successes with overlap and protocol agreements. Although the process between Gitxsan and Kitselas and Kitsumkalum is just beginning, it is hoped that it will be another example of neighbouring First Nations developing solutions on their shared interests.
The BC Treaty Commission applauds Gitxsan and Kitselas and Kitsumkalum for their commitment to work together to address disputes related to their territories.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: If there are any questions regarding the overlap discussions please contact:
Brenna Latimer Bev Clifton Percival (Gwaans) Gerald Wesley
BC Treaty Commission Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs Tsimshian First Nations
604-862-0441 250-842-6780 250-635-5511