If we do not approve the Final Agreement, we will not have the certainty about lands, governance and revenue that the Final Agreement provides, but that does not mean we cannot look for and pursue other ways of becoming self-governing and asserting our rights as other First Nations have done. For example:
- We could go to court to prove our title over more of our traditional lands. This path might—or might not—give Lheidli T’enneh title to a larger part of our claimed territory. Going to court would be a process that takes many years and would be very costly. There are no guarantees we would be successful or benefit more from this route.
- We could negotiate “non-treaty” agreements on individual topics such as land, forestry, or economic development, for example. These agreements are not protected by the Canadian Constitution, but they are easier to change than the Final Agreement. Each agreement would be individually negotiated.
There are other options available. If we choose to look at other options the path is not clear, outcomes are not guaranteed, and the costs are not known.
The Final Agreement provides certainty and guaranteed outcomes that other processes cannot: we know what is in the Final Agreement. It is not a perfect agreement, but it would give us the ability to move forward now to develop our lands, create economic opportunities, make our own laws and generate income to run our government and serve the Lheidli T’enneh people.