In hopes to engage more members in its treaty process the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council (NStQ) have launched a new interactive website.
Leaders gathered last week at the NStQ board room in Williams Lake to welcome the launch.
“We’ve been in a treaty process for a number of years and we’ve always stated we need to find a way to communicate with our communities and members,” Williams Lake Indian Band Chief Ann Louie said. “We are nearing an agreement in principle and we must all get informed on exactly what we are looking at in treaty.”
Whether people vote yes or no to the process, votes should be based on an informed decision, not a speculative one, Louie said.
Canim Lake band councillor Andrea Boise said the website will reach youth, young adults and elders and bridge gaps.
“I think our members won’t feel as alone,” she said.
Canoe Creek Chief David Archie said the website, which includes Facebook, will help tackle the “on-reserve off-reserve” strain bands find themselves in and will reach out to band members wherever they may be.
“It will be part of a solution that brings us all back together,” Archie said. “Reflecting back on what our ancestors used as tools and the tools we received from them and balancing them with the new tools we have today.”
Louie said as the treaty process unfolds the NStQ needs social media tools and “must” learn how to use them and encourage staff and community members to become more involved.
Treaty team co-ordinator Allan Tweedie said the NStQ is anticipating the agreement in principle documents to arrive in April from the federal and provincial governments.
“Our negotiation meetings usually take place in the Cariboo at the end of each month,” Tweedie said.
The NStQ Treaty Group represents T’excelc (Williams Lake Indian Band), Tsq’escen’ (Canim Lake Band), Xat’sull (Soda Creek Band) and the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation communities.