Incomplete, Illiberal, and Expensive: A Review of 15 Years of Treaty Negotiations in British Columbia and Proposals for Reform

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This study reviews the treaty process in British Columbia since 1993, its assumptions, costs, and outcomes as evidenced in signed treaties, final agreements, and agreements in principle. It analyzes the current federal and British Columbia government approaches to land claims and the initial hope: signed treaties, finality, fairness, and a desirable liberal approach to relationships between peoples.

There are positive aspects to the treaties that have been signed and in the pipeline; they include fee simple property ownership of reserve land and an end to Indian Act authority, but aboriginal and other Canadians risk seeing those positive elements undercut with clauses that will create a thicket of policy traps, bureaucratic interference, and economic disincentives in their attempts to move forward into a more prosperous twenty-first century for aboriginals.

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