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BS00622A.gif (2341 bytes) Treaties and the MAI BS00622A.gif (2341 bytes)

Last March, ARC BC made a presentation to the British Columbia Special Committee on the MAI. The conclusion: the MAI represents a significant erosion of national sovereignty, and would likely cripple any future attempts at treaty-making. Check out the entire brief here.

Last updated May 23, 1999: MAI Brief, Chiapas visit, Looking beyond... Japan, TNAC report, Upcoming Events (including the AGM)

ARC Member Visits Chiapas

A View from the Other Side...

On a recent trip to Chiapas to bear witness to the situation among the Mayan people there, ARC member Yuki Sato found herself being stopped by the military, interrogated for several hours, vilified in the local (state-controlled) media, and nearly deported from the country.

And I suppose that you thought all there was to being an ARC member was attending annual general meetings, passing resolutions, and signing petitions!

Salida Dificil ("No Easy Exit" - borrowing a title from poet Gary Geddes) is Yuki's first-hand account of her experiences in Mexico.

Most, if not all, main-stream media articles, whether or not they agree that the Nisga'a deal is good for British Columbia, all seem to agree on one thing: the deal is fantastic for the Nisga'a. They get money, they get land, they get some fish (whatever's left). Who can argue with that?

Left almost entirely out of the discussion is an analysis of the treaty from a First Nation's perspective. Is European society finally giving BC's First Nations the respect that they deserve? Or are modern-day treaties the final nail in the coffin to extinquish Indian culture forever?

This week's article is a press release from the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, which is sharply critical of the Nisga'a treaty, and warns other First Nations away from following a similar course.

ARC Opposes Referendum Call


In response to the completion of the Nisga'a agreement, Opposition Leader Gordon Campbell leaked the deal to the press and demanded that it be renegotiated.

Claiming that the proposed treaty changes the Constitution of Canada, Campbell has called for the government to hold a referendum on the issue, and intends to take the government to court if they don't. If the Liberals do initiate a court case, ARC has announced that it will apply to the court for intervenor status.

bulletMLA/MP Survey form and press release
bulletARC to Campbell: "We'll see you in court"
bulletARC's Principles Regarding the Treaty
bullet10 Reasons Why a Referendum is a Bad Idea
bulletLetter to Premier Clark
bulletLetter to Gordon Campbell
bulletPress Release
bulletLetter to the editor, Times Colonist

Get more information on the treaty

What's Next?

bulletDraft text of the final agreement
bulletNisga'a web site
bulletBC Treaty Commission
bulletBC Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs
bulletGovernment of Canada Ministry of Indian Affairs

The initialing of the treaty on August 4th was largely ceremonial: before the treaty becomes finalized, it must be ratified by the Nisga'a people (probably in October sometime), the BC legislature (probably in December at the earliest), and in Parliament.

Between then and now, there will undoubtedly be a wide-range of debate on the issue, and we'll try to sort it our for you. How is the media covering the story? What is the validity of some of the arguments being made?

What do you think? Is a treaty a good idea or a bad idea? Or is it an issue shrouded in mystery for you? Let us know what you think - we'll be posting your letters, as well as responses to your questions.

We welcome your questions, comments, and suggestions! You can contact us at

In Vancouver...

In Victoria...

ARC Vancouver
(604) 730-7143, Fax: (604) 736-9961
#205 - 2776 Pine Street
Vancouver, BC
V6J 3G2


ARC Victoria
(250) 386-8272
1611 Quadra St.
Victoria, BC
V8W 2L5

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