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Feb 13, 2024
Terry Teegee says suggestion changes would allow First Nations a ‘veto’ is false and inflammatory
Recent reactions to proposed changes to B.C.’s Land Act are a threat to reconciliation, Assembly of First Nations B.C. Regional Chief Terry Teegee says.
“This is fear mongering at its worst,” said Teegee.
The province’s NDP government is drafting amendments to enable agreements with Indigenous governing bodies to share decision-making over public land and bring the Land Act in line with the province’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA).
DRIPA was passed unanimously in 2019 and establishes the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as B.C.’s framework for reconciliation.
The use of Crown land is governed by the Land Act. Most of B.C.’s First Nations never signed formal treaties with Canada, meaning they never legally handed over land to the Crown. Of the nearly 100 million hectares of land in B.C., about 95 per cent is Crown land, or unceded territory.