NStQ’s T’exelc (Williams Lake Indian Band) Chief Willie Sellars (left), Tsq’escen (Canim Lake Band) Chief Helen Henderson, Chief Sheri Sellars, Xat’sull (Soda Creek-Deep Creek Band) and Chief Patrick Harry, spokesperson for the NStQ and Chief of Stswece’c Xgat’tem (Canoe Creek Band) seen here at a gathering in January 2019 had applauded the federal government’s Budget 2019 proposal to forgive treaty loans. (NStQ communications photo)

NStQ’s T’exelc (Williams Lake Indian Band) Chief Willie Sellars (left), Tsq’escen (Canim Lake Band) Chief Helen Henderson, Chief Sheri Sellars, Xat’sull (Soda Creek-Deep Creek Band) and Chief Patrick Harry, spokesperson for the NStQ and Chief of Stswece’c Xgat’tem (Canoe Creek Band) seen here at a gathering in January 2019 had applauded the federal government’s Budget 2019 proposal to forgive treaty loans. (NStQ communications photo)

NStQ nations forgiven $32 million treaty loan by feds

Northern Shuswap Treaty Society and Northern Shuswap Tribal Council celebrating

Over $32 million in accumulated negotiation debt has been forgiven for four Secwepemc communities who entered the B.C. Treaty process more than two decades ago.

The Northern Shuswap Treaty Society (NSTS) and the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council (NSTC) said in a statement Monday they are celebrating after learning of the loan forgiveness by the Government of Canada for the Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw (NStQ) nations.

“To finally see the day when real progress is being made would have meant a great deal to the elders who have worked towards self-government,” NStQ spokesperson Stswecem’c Xgat’tem (Dog Creek-Canoe Creek) Chief Patrick Harry said.

“This opens a new chapter for our members and places the NStQ one step closer to breaking free from the Indian Act.”

Read More: Columbia River Treaty talks impacted by COVID-19 crisis

Removing a major economic hurdle for the NStQ communities of Tsq’escen’ (Canim Lake); T’exelc (Williams Lake); Stswecem’c – Xgat’tem (Dog Creek – Canoe Creek); and Xat’sull – Cmetem (Soda Creek – Deep Creek), the NSTC in a news statement noted the treaty process has been reinvigorated with recent developments including the return of jurisdiction over children and families, and adoption of UNDRIP legislation by the B.C. government.

The NStQ is in the fifth stage of treaty negotiations with B.C. and Canada. It is one of six stages before the sixth and final stage of implementation of the treaty.

The debt was part of a ‘comprehensive land claim negotiation loan’ the NSTC agreed to take on when the communities entered the treaty process in 1994.

“I hope that the forgiveness of this debt demonstrates this commitment in a concrete way and will enhance financial stability and enable your community to improve access to funding,” Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Carolyn Bennett stated in a letter to NSTC.


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
rebecca.dyok@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CaribooIndigenous

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Williams Lake and the Chilcotin is part of a community cluster declared by Interior Health Jan. 20, 2021. (Angie Mindus file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
53 more COVID-19 cases linked to ‘social gatherings’ in Williams Lake: Interior Health

Cariboo Chilcotin schools have seen a surge in COVID-19 exposures

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Esk’etemc First Nation (Alkali Lake) Chief Fred Robbins takes part in Secwepemc Health Caucus’s “Raising Our Spirits” ceremony Friday, Jan. 22. (Secwepemc Health Caucus Facebook image)
Secwepemc Nation raises spirits through song

More than 150 join virtual ceremony

Carla Bullinger says that sometimes keeping our language simple is the most efficient way to communicate with one another. (Photo submitted)
REACH A READER 2021: Literacy matters now more than ever

There is no way to tell just by looking at someone whether they have literacy challenges

Angus Wellburn, 4, and his sister, Ida, 1, with their mom, Jane Wellburn, read a children’s story posted on the window of the Williams Lake Library as part of an ongoing literacy week display. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
REACH-A-READER 2021: Family literacy – stretching the moment

What does Family Literacy actually mean and why is it so important?

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 is International Lego Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 24 to 30

Lego Day, Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day and Puzzle Day are all coming up this week

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Sunnybank in Oliver. (Google Maps)
Sunnybank long-term care in Oliver reports third COVID-19 death

The facility currently has an outbreak with 35 cases attached to it

Most Read