B.C. and federal government announce settlement with group of First Nations

VANCOUVER — The Canadian government says it’s righting nearly a century of wrongs done to five First Nations in British Columbia by settling historic land claims owed under an 1899 treaty. 

Federal Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller said during an announcement Saturday that Ottawa failed to live up to its obligations to the Blueberry River First Nation, the Doig River First Nation, the Halfway River First Nation, the Saulteau First Nation and the West Moberly First Nation for more than 100 years. 

Miller says the broken promises following Treaty 8 resulted in decades of negotiations to resolve historic land debts owed by the Crown. 

He says the feds will kick in $800 million as monetary compensation under the settlement, noting it’s owed to the First Nations and not free money.

B.C. Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Murray Rankin says the province will provide 443 square kilometres of Crown land under the settlement to the five First Nations.

Miller says the settlements are a crucial step in renewing the federal government’s relationships with First Nations and holding the country accountable for past wrongs. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 15, 2023. 

The Canadian Press

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