Kitselas Historic Timeline


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Kitselas Historic Timeline

  1. 1. Kitselas HistoricTimelineWhere we were, where we are and where we hope to be inregards to Treaty negotiationsJuly, 2012
  2. 2. Credit: National Archives of Canada, C-38019/PA022556• Kitselas have occupied their homelands for at least 5,000 years• Archaeological and ethnographic evidence and research with Kitselas elders has confirmed this occupation
  3. 3. • We have tried to continue to be active, viable partners in the development of BC since the arrival of non-aboriginal people• Earliest written records show that this began in the 1700s with missionaries from Russia, and fur traders from Europe. Although this most likely began much earlier. • At this time we traded and maintained good relationships with visitors to our lands
  4. 4. D #23005Credit: National Archives of Canada, C-140172 1700s 1763  the Royal Proclamation of King George II recognizes Aboriginal title and rights to land While this is recognized by the British Crown, on the North American continent this promise is not held 1792  Captain George Vancouver charts the coast of BC, more trading ships begin to venture inland With the arrival of more trading ships, links with coastal and inland fur traders are solidified D #23005 Credit: National Archives of Canada, C-140172
  5. 5. 1800-18501830  aware of the spread of new disease, the HBC beginsinoculating Native people against smallpox throughout what isnow known as CanadaThe epidemic reaches BC in the 1860s, thousands die fromsmallpox. 1 in 3 aboriginal people die in the epidemic1843  HBC begins laying down boundaries in BCThis lays the foundation for how land and territories will beparceled out to non-aboriginal peoples
  6. 6. 1850-18601858  British government passes an act establishing direct ruleon mainland BC. James Douglas, the first governor of BC, mapsIndian Reserves1859  William Downie claims the Skeena pass in Gitksanterritory as a route for the Pacific Railroad, soon after moreextensive exploration begins along the Skeena RiverThis railroad corridor is still used today
  7. 7. 1860-19001864  Joseph Trutch replaces James Douglas. He reduces sizeof reserves and implements discriminatory ‘Indian’ policies,denies existence of Aboriginal rightsThis perception does not change until the 1970s1867  Constitution Act Section 91(24) says Canada isresponsible for Indians and Reserve lands for Indians I-56070 Credit: British Columbia Archives
  8. 8. 1860-19001872  British military takes control of Skeena River removingfrom the Kitselas their ability to toll the Canyon1876  Indian Act imposed1880s  Government begins to remove aboriginal children fromtheir homes, placing them in Residential SchoolsSchools begin to phase out in the 1960s, the last one closes in the1990s
  9. 9. 1860-19001884  Parliament outlaws the potlatch, the primary social,economic and political express of most Native cultures on theNorthwest Coast1887  Tsimshian and Nisga’a Chiefs travel to Victoria to pressfor treaties and self-government. They are turned away.“Since the arrival of the first Europeans in the Nass Valley, the Nisgaa nation hasattempted to negotiate on numerous occasions and to sign a treaty relating to their landclaims. In the mid 1880s, aboriginal leaders started making representations to theauthorities. However, their efforts met with no success for several decades, because theleaders at the time refused to recognize the aboriginal titles to the land they wereclaiming” Right Honourable Ghislain Fournier Manicouagan, QC speaking in front ofCanadian Parliament
  10. 10. 1900 – 19301901  Kitselas Reservelands are measured andstaked. The Kitselas landbase is reduced from220,000 hectares to 1200hectares1904  Homestead Actallowed any person except Credit: National Archives of Canada,Aboriginal and Chinese A-022556peoples to access 160 acresof land anywhere along theSkeena River free of charge.
  11. 11. 1900-19301915  McKenna-McBride Commission re-evaluated reservelands and resulted in significant changes to reserve lands in BC.Kitselas was a part of this Commission making passionate pleasto have their lands restored. Their concerns were dismissed
  12. 12. "The Land on which we used to get our living it is gone, where we used to go hunting it is gone, where we used to pick berries it is gone, andwhy - because the government just simply took it away without saying a word. If the white men would fight us like they are doing in Germany today, it would be all right, but they dont - the Government stepped in and without paying us a cent took all our land away and we now see that we have been badly treated. The Indian people, we believe what the Government said when the Government men says "this is your reserve, and no one else" but when we start to make a little money, perhaps selling timber or fish, why at once the same Government come upon us and put us in jail and we have to sit down and cry because we can not dispose of anything on these reserves without being put in jail."~ Chief Samuel Wise of the Kitselas Tribe, Saturday September 5th,1915 (Statements to the McKenna-McBride Royal Commission onestablishment of Indian Reserve Lands)
  13. 13. 1900-19301927  Canada makes it illegal for Aboriginal people to organizeto discuss land claims or raise funds to hire a lawyer. Resistancemoves underground
  14. 14. 1931-19501931  Tsimshian and Haida form Native Brotherhood to secretlydiscuss land claims and form protests on fishing, lands, taxationand social issues. “…we suffer as a minority race and as wards, or minors without a voice inregard to our own welfare. We are prisoners of a controlling power in our own country – a country which has stood up under the chaos of two world wars,beneath the guise of democracy and freedom, yet has enslaved a native people in their own home land.” ~ Jack Beynon, Tsimshian, Port Simpson, 1931
  15. 15. 1931-19501946  Flu epidemic wipes out significant number of Kitselaspolitical leaders. The fight for title and rights does not resumeagain until the 1980s1949  Native men allowed to vote provincially, native peoplecan vote federally in 1960
  16. 16. 1950-20001951  Canada amends the Indian Act, removing the anti-potlatch and anti-land claims provisions1973  through the Calder Case, the Supreme Court of Canadarules aboriginal title did exist prior to contact, but is split onwhether it continued to exist in the present Credit: CBC /first-nations/mapping-the-future/pack- 10-key-dates/index-10keydates.html
  17. 17. 1950-20001982  Constitution Act recognizes and affirmsAboriginal and treaty rights1984  Tsimshian Tribal Council (TTC) is formed,representing the 7 Tsimshian groups in theNorthwest1990  The 7 Tsimshian groups enter intomodern-day treaty negotiations
  18. 18. 2000 -2004  TTC disbands. Treaty negotiations continue withKitselas, Kitsumkalum, Kitasoo, Hartley Bay and Metlakatla2009  Treaty negotiations make significant advances withKitselas and Kitsumkalum2012  After 20 years of negotiations, the Kitselas peopleanticipate an offer from the Federal and Provincial governmentsAt this time both negotiators await the final details/offers fromBC and Canada to have a completed Agreement-in-Principle (AIP)
  19. 19. Approval process for the AIP• Chief Negotiators come to an agreement that the AIP has been completed• A legal review of the AIP takes place• Agreement is reached to move towards an approval process. Internal review of the AIP – Kitsumkalum, then BC, then Canada • Sometimes the review by BC and Canada can take up to 6 months• Initialing of the AIP • At this point, all 3 negotiators will initial the AIP as a sign that they will stop negotiating for now, and take it back to their members for ratification• Vote • Kitselas will have their ratification vote. Then BC. Then Canada.This is a chance for our members to have their say on the AIP
  20. 20. The future2016  Kitselas could have a Final Agreement (or Treaty),ushering in a new era of political and socioeconomic opportunityfree from the bounds of the Indian Act