For many people, treaties seem like a relic of the past. Weren't treaties signed a long time ago, when Europeans first settled in North America?
In fact they were, in most of the continent. But treaties are unfinished business here in British Columbia. This unfinished business is costing the provincial economy a lot of money because of continuing uncertainty over ownership of millions of acres of land. It's also standing in the way of aboriginal communities regaining the self-sufficiency they once had.
When the early Europeans first began to settle in the eastern
part of North America, Britain recognized that those people
who were already living here had title to land: the Royal
Proclamation of 1763 declared that only the British Crown
could acquire lands from First Nations, and ...