Five B.C. First Nations reach settlement with the provincial and federal governments on Treaty Land Entitlement claims

Lake Babine Nation and Canada sign agreement to support community vision for governance, capacity development, and infrastructure priorities for Wit’at and Tachet communities.

February 22, 2024 at 6:37 pm  Federal, Politics

February 21, 2024 — Lake Babine Nation, British Columbia — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Today, Chief Murphy Abraham, along with other Lake Babine Nation representatives and the Honourable Gary Anandasangaree, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, signed a Funding Agreement totalling $50 million that will directly support priorities identified by the Wit’at and Tachet communities.

This funding will support Lake Babine to build its public sector and governance capacity on its journey towards self-governance and provide support for the Nation’s community infrastructure priorities.

The funding being announced today will support implementing an agreement signed on September 18, 2020, between Lake Babine Nation, Canada, and British Columbia called the Foundation Agreement. It is a tripartite framework agreement that lays out a pathway to incrementally and collaboratively implement Lake Babine Nation’s constitutional rights over a 20-year period through capacity building, shared initiatives, and further negotiations.

The Foundation Agreement also contains commitments from British Columbia to support the first phase of implementation. This involves the transfer of 20,000 hectares of provincial Crown land, forestry tenures, and approximately $43 million in funding contributions.

This funding will help Lake Babine Nation to support governance capacity by hiring specialized employees to build land capacity, manage spending, identify priority program improvements, develop a restorative justice strategy for the Nation and oversee the Nation’s strategic initiatives, the main one being the implementation of the Foundation Agreement.

Together, the parties continue to solidify a renewed relationship based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. This renewed relationship aligns with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and its role as the framework for implementing Indigenous rights.

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