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Achilles heel of the British Columbia economy is Aboriginal Title and Rights. We can challenge their jurisdiction and claim to ownership over our lands and resources. Hence, the province needs to get our approval to sell off our natural wealth under provincial jurisdiction. Controlling access and benefits to the natural wealth of our territories is how the BC government exists and the settler economy becomes rich. Circumventing Aboriginal Title and Rights is the purpose of the Reconciliation Framework Agreement (RFA) which creates a one stop shop for consultation all under provincial jurisdiction. My question is why has the macroeconomic dimension of our Aboriginal Title and Rights not been recognized and used to reduce or eliminate the poverty of our people? I have looked over the Reconciliation Framework Agreement and I have touched on a few points in this short article but I feel it is important for all Secwepemc to seriously examine this document. Please connect the link below to access the full PDF version of this document.

Secwepemc Reconciliation Framework Agreement April 8, 2013 RFA%20_finalVersion%20%2025Mar2013.pdf

The province is engaged in trying to get the elected chiefs and councils (See Representations and Warranties, 18.2) to sign a Secwepemc RFA. The purpose of the RFA is to make Aboriginal Rights subject to provincial jurisdiction. Aboriginal Rights under these RFA are basically plugged into existing provincial government processes and activities. The province takes the lead role in these discussions simply because the very purpose of these discussions since it mainly serves their purposes; including to unload the provincial governments obligation to consult with Indigenous Peoples. I use the proposed Secwepemc Economic Uncertainty Reconciliation Framework Agreement between the Tkemlups te Secwepemc (Kamloops), Skeetchestn Indian Band, Adams Lake Indian Band, Neskonlith Indian Band, Splatsin Indian Band and Simpcw First Nation and Her Majesty the Queen in right of the British Columbia Government as an example simply because it relates to my Peoples.

In the purpose section of the RFA the province clearly establishes that the province wants and needs economic certainty for the BC economy to use our lands (Aboriginal Title) and resources (Aboriginal Rights) for their exclusive benefit. 2.1 The Parties acknowledge that the shared decision making structures and processes described in this Agreement are intended to mitigate, reduce or avoid disputes over land and resources management and are intended in part to reduce the need for the Parties to use formal dispute resolution mechanisms. Indigenous Peoples need to understand that the original Constitution of Canada was the British North America Act 1867 and under that Act all laws and decisions regarding Aboriginal and Treaty Territories are to be made by the Parliament in Ottawa or the Legislature in the provincial capital like Victoria. The British North America Act 1867 was a very racist Constitution and was changed by the Canada Constitution Act 1982 where the federal and provincial governments agreed to recognize and affirm Aboriginal and Treaty Rights under section 35(1). The real political problem is that the federal and provincial governments and their policies have remained attached to the racist notions that do not recognize Aboriginal and Treaty Rights on the ground. That is clear from the Government-to- Government Process set out in the RFA, which at best foresees delegated authority, but no independent indigenous decision-making, the final decision maker is always the provincial government. The process basically aims to take the rights away from the people who collectively are the proper holders of Aboriginal Title and Rights. Under the agreement the provincial government interacts with and delegates to the elected chiefs and councils based on a 4 level process under the provincially created Cross Agency Impact Matrix. 4.2 The Parties will establish a Government-to-Government Forum to facilitate Government-to-Government Engagement at a political, strategic, and operational level and will consist of the following four entities: a) Senior Council, b) Revenue and Benefit Sharing Council, c) Natural Resources Technical Council, and d) Single Window Administrative Portal. The Engagement Model proposed in the RFA is based on a Cross Agency Impact Matrix which is created by the provincial government and includes 342 activities the province is engaged in our territories. 1. Fish and Wildlife 2. Forest, Range and Land Based Investment 2

Under four engagement levels: 1. Information Available on Request Negligible to very low impact 2. Notification & Expedited low potential or expedited 3. Normal moderate potential to affect Aboriginal Rights 4. Deep high potential to affect Aboriginal Rights What does the RFA offer Indigenous Peoples for giving the provincial government economic certainty? The Secwepemc People only get limited benefits first of all we get is an engagement process with the province and secondly economic and resource revenue sharing opportunities in accordance with prevailing provincial policy and mandates: 7.1 The Parties, with the assistance of the RBSC, will seek to identify economic and resource revenue sharing opportunities in accordance with prevailing Provincial policy and mandates. The Engagement Process and the economic and resource revenue sharing are less than the amount of wealth and benefits that the FRA will give the BC economy. There are no economic guarantees or securities for Secwepemc People to reduce and eliminate the poverty we experience. The province has become used to having 100% power to issue hunting & fishing permits, forest licenses, grazing permits, , mining permits, water licenses; grant fee simple on Crown land; and make rules over Parks and the limited Environmental Protection regulations that remain. But because of Aboriginal Title and Rights they now need to include Indigenous Peoples. The only catch for us is that they want to continue to control our Aboriginal Title and Rights at our expense. In fact this RFA is extremely offensive to the message contained in the Secwepemc position in the Laurier Memorial of 1910 to the federal government, where it is said the province is the real problem because it is the province that is stealing our land. In fact in this RFA it is again the province that is re-legitimizing their control over our Aboriginal Title Territory by having us mutually agree to the RFA that reconciles our Aboriginal Rights to the provincial law. In fact the RFA calls upon the Secwepemc elected leaders to agree that in this agreement it will be ruled under federal and provincial law. 3

3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Crown Lands Recreation Sites and Trails Resorts Water Mines Environment Protection Parks

This is totally contradictory to the legal case the Secwepemc people are bringing forward claiming jurisdiction over forestry based on our Aboriginal Title and Rights and on our Indigenous laws. This is imperative because our laws are based on our land and we cannot claim our land through or under federal and provincial government laws. The RFA process is wrong because it is based on provincial law and not Secwepemc laws but it is correct that the provincial government is longer 100% in control of our Aboriginal Title and Rights territory. The Secwepemc People must look over this FRA especially the Cross Agency Impact Matrix and identify Decision matters that the province has identified and challenge those matters on the ground. Despite the fact we do not want a process under the exclusive powers of the province under Section 92 of the Canadian Constitution (BNA Act); we do want a process based on the recognition and affirmation of Aboriginal Rights under section 35 (1) of the Canada Constitution 1982. A process based on section 35 (1) of the Constitution is in fact the kind of process that the province is trying to avoid under the RFA.

20.9 This Agreement is to be governed by the applicable laws of Canada and British Columbia.