Yale treaty going ahead despite protests

Sto:lo delegation after meeting with B.C. officials (from left): legal advisor Jean Teillet

VICTORIA – The B.C. government intends to endorse a treaty with the Yale First Nation in the Fraser Canyon next week, despite continued protests that the settlement includes fishing sites that have belonged to the Sto:lo Nation for thousands of years.

A delegation representing the 29 Sto:lo communities in the Fraser Valley met with Aboriginal Relations Minister Mary Polak Thursday, to warn her that approval of the Yale treaty will likely lead to violence on the Fraser River this summer.

Sto:lo representatives said there was already a shooting incident last summer at one of the disputed fishing sites in the canyon north of the village of Yale. The fishing and rack drying sites in that portion of the canyon have been a vital food source for aboriginal people for thousands of years, and the Sto:lo have compiled a detailed record of their occupation.

Sto:lo Nation president Joe Hall said his dispute is not with the Yale people, but rather the federal and provincial governments who are imposing the treaty.

“I don’t want to be like Donald Trump and look at people’s birth certificates, but the Yale are a Sto:lo band,” Hall said. “They would have been chased out of there a long time ago if they weren’t.”

Polak said in an interview Thursday that every one of the more than 200 traditional territories in B.C. has competing claims from adjoining bands, except the islands of Haida Gwaii. The Maa-Nulth Treaty on Vancouver Island involved five bands and their differences were worked out, she said.

Yale Chief Robert Hope led a delegation to the legislature May 18 to celebrate the completion of the treaty, where they were congratulated by Premier Christy Clark. Hope has denied any relationship between the 150-member Yale band and the Sto:lo communities to the south.

Hall said the Yale treaty was actually supported by only 66 voting members, and it has profound implications for 10,000 Sto:lo people. If the federal and provincial governments ratify it as planned, court action is one option the Sto:lo will consider, he said.

Attorney General Barry Penner, MLA for Chilliwack-Hope, said the B.C. Treaty Commission has offered to mediate the long-running dispute to seek a solution.

Just Posted

Sidney Concert Band strikes up seasonal note with fundraiser for young musicians

Money raised from the Dec. 9 show benefits 676 Kittyhawk Air Cadet Band program

House fire in View Royal sends one to hospital Saturday morning

View Royal Fire Rescue says fire is now out

Camosun student starts bursary program for low-income students

The Jor-Dawn Smith Bursary will go to one Greater Victoria graduate in spring 2020

Victoria property company plans to replace Saanich apartments with townhouses

Abstract Developments plans 26 townhouses for Gorge Road West

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

Most Read