Details on rights and title continue to unfold

The Tsilhqot’in continue to hammer out details with the provincial government about their recent rights and title win.

The Tsilhqot’in continue to hammer out details with the provincial government about their recent rights and title win and how it will impact non-First Nations, said Xeni Gwet’in Chief Roger William.

“At this point in time we don’t have all the answers,” William said from the Union of BC Municipalities conference in Whistler last week.

Within the 1,700 square kilometre-court case area, there are existing ranches, recreation areas and lodges.

“All of those permits can continue,” William said, adding the First Nations are pleased the provincial government has encouraged hunters to keep out of the title area.

When asked if the First Nations will be responsible for road maintenance within the title area, William said those things will have to be worked out as the Tsilhqot’in and government workout short-term and longterm agreements.

The court case area makes up 40 per cent of the entire Tsilhqot’in title area, he added.

“When we look at rights to hunt, trap, catch wild horses and trade we will be looking at big picture.”

William gave a presentation at UBCM Tuesday and said it was received well.

“I told delegates it will be a good transition and we will continue keeping the public informed. I spoke with MLA Donna Barnett and she told me I answered some of her questions, too.”

Great efforts are also being expended to inform First Nations people themselves.

He started a Xeni Gwet’in Facebook page, has been holding community meetings and met with many people one-on-one.

“The majority are in favour of the way it’s unfolding, but it is a trust issue for some people.”

William has not confirmed whether or not he will run for the Cariboo Regional District for a second term.

“Lots of people have been talking to me about it and I’ve heard some other people are thinking about running, but I haven’t decided either way.”

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