In 2006, after years of negotiation, a Final Agreement was reached between the Lheidli T’enneh and the governments of Canada and British Columbia that would reconcile many of the outstanding issues between us. A Constitution was also drafted that would allow us to govern ourselves.
The membership of the Lheidli T’enneh voted on the Final Agreement and Constitution in 2007. The Constitution was accepted, but the Final Agreement was defeated.
The Final Agreement provides one path toward a self-reliant future for Lheidli T’enneh. While it is not the only path forward, it does provide certainty, because the agreement outlines very specifically, what land and rights we will have if we accept it.
If accepted, it will create a new relationship between us and the governments of Canada and British Columbia. If we choose this Final Agreement, we will own the land that has been our reserve lands, and we will also own other land. The Indian Act will no longer govern the Lheidli T’enneh. We will govern ourselves with rules – a Constitution – we have created for ourselves.
The Final Agreement would provide a Lheidli T’enneh government with the ability to raise its own money by using our land for industry and economic development, by collecting taxes from those who live on Lheidli T’enneh land, and by getting a share of revenue coming from resources.
The Final Agreement is not perfect. It has many benefits but also has limitations. As we consider our options and use our voices to make an informed choice for the future, there will be no right or wrong answer.
Whatever the outcome, this vote will be historic. As we walk this path, we will talk about and consider our future together and we will become stronger.
There are several fact sheets that explore the content of the Final Agreement in more detail.
- One people, moving forward together
- The Final Agreement: A look inside
- Benefits and the limitations of the Final Agreement
- Alternative paths
- Our land, our opportunity
- Hunting and fishing
- Taxation: A path to independence
- Culture and heritage
- Our government
- Programs and services
- What happens after the vote?
- Shared territories
- Specific claims