July 26, 2007

It's a Yes to Surrender

The votes have come in and it's official. The Globe and Mail says, "The vote was about 70 per cent (130 to 50) in favor of the treaty, said to be worth $120-million to the 370 band members. It provides more than 400 hectares of new land, $16-million in cash, a share of the annual Fraser River salmon catch and more than $36-million in program funding."

Coming this Saturday is the Maa-multh Treaty Group. Five Nuu-chah-nulth tribes voting on their Final Agreement through the British Columbia Treaty Process. I feel deeply sad that this has come to pass for the Tsawwassen people and their ancestors.

In a Pyrrhic victory, the 75-member Semiahmoo First Nation, whose 130-hectare seaside reserve sits between White Rock and the U.S. border went to the Courts because of this Tsawwassen Final Agreement. Semiahmoo traditional territory fall into a over-lap with the Tsawwassen. As pointed out by many, this ''treaty process'' is unfair and unbalanced. This is true with Semiahmoo as they were never consulted or involved in the negotiations over this over-lapping territory. Several weeks ago, it filed a petition in B.C. Supreme Court seeking an order to prevent the B.C. government from signing the Tsawwassen treaty or implementing it, at least until the Semiahmoo's issues are addressed.

I say Pyhrric victory because of a few things. The first thing is that the Treaty Process is one-sided and all geared toward the surrendering by the Indigenous. The next thing that comes to mind is that now the Semiahmoo are going to the Colonial courts to resolve this matter. More and more we're being assimilated and co-opted into the colonial ways with very little resistance. The victory is that the Semiahmoo might be able to stop the "Final Agreement" from going through. Some will shout "Democracy! Democracy! Democracy!", except the vote this past night in Tsawwassen was for 18+ only. The youngest and largest group of their nation did not have a say in this decision. Not to mention all the future generations that are utterly screwed if this comes to be law.

Here are the latest articles on the results:

Huu-ay-aht, Ka:'yu:'k't'h/Che:k'tles7et'h', Toquaht, Ushucklesaht, a Ucuelet, the choices is now yours. Are you going to surrender, or fight for something, anything, for your posterities future?


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