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Press Release: ARC Surveys BC Politicians on Nisga’a Treaty

For immediate release: October 16, 1998

The Aboriginal Rights Coalition of Victoria today sent out a survey to all federal and provincial politicians in British Columbia asking them where they stand on the Nisga’a Treaty.

The survey asks 6 basic questions, such as "Do you believe that a provincial referendum is necessary to ratify the Nisga’a Treaty?" and "Will you vote in favour of ratifying the Nisga’a Treaty"? The survey is attached.

Waldemar Braul, chair of the Aboriginal Rights Coalition of Victoria, explains the rationale for the survey: "We are requesting that politicians submit their responses by November 15, 1998. We will then tabulate and publish the results across BC and the rest of Canada. The survey information will enable citizens to carry out more meaningful discussions with their respective political representatives."

Braul stresses that the deadline for responding to the survey is November 15, 1998: "We appreciate that the Nisga’a Treaty is a complex and detailed document, and takes some time to read and consider. But by November 15, some 4 months will have passed since the negotiations ended. And the ratification votes in the provincial and federal legislatures are imminent (this fall or spring). Politicians must make up their minds soon, if they have not done so already. The survey, however, will also allow politicians to indicate if they are undecided."

The survey instructions advise the politicians that if they do not answer the questions, these non-responses will be noted in the published survey results.

For further information call Waldemar Braul at 250 388 4232 or Joel Harvey at 250 384 1164.