The Chief’s Statement on Delgamuukw, 1998

The Cariboo Tribal Council (CTC) and the affiliated Secwepemc te Qelmucw (Northern Secwepemc) challenge the governments of Canada and British Columbia to implement the December 11, 1997 Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Delgamuukw.

Delgamuukw confirmed the existence of aboriginal title.

However, the federal and provincial governments continue to conduct “business as usual” and ignore the legally recognized aboriginal title. The Northern Secwepemc are not alone in calling for action as citizens of British Columbia, representatives of industry, and ministry officials have called upon the governments of Canada and British to respond.

The government of Canada and British Columbia must accept Delgamuukw will apply in the treaty negotiations and must undertake the following principles to reach agreement with the Northern Secwepemc that demonstrates fairness, honesty, and respect:

  1. To achieve certainty by announcing, extinguishment, cede, release and surrender are not issues for negotiation;
  2. To accept and confirm Delgammukw and enact changes in legislation and policy in accordance with that decision;
  3. To revise the current consultation process and develop land management plans to include the Northern Secwepemc in decisions within our territory;
  4. To negotiate interim measures prior to the conclusion of treaty and legislative changes;
  5. To ensure the capacity building needs are met through the development of partnerships between government, business, ourselves and other First Nations; and
  6. To enter into good faith negotiations to move towards the completion of modern treaties.

Chief Antoine Archie – Tsq’escen (Canim Lake)

Chief Larry Camille – Xatl’tem/Stwecem’c (Dog Creek/Canoe Creek)

Chief Dorothy Phillips – Xats’ull/Cmetem’ (Soda Creek/Deep Creek)

Chief Nancy Sandy – Tl’exelc (Williams Lake)

The CTC chiefs were given direction by the membership, at the Annual Treaty Society Meeting held at Canim Lake, to release the above statement on Friday, September 25, 1998.