Nanoose First Nation chief says residents of Parksville Qualicum Beach are ‘guests’ on their traditional territory

Chief David Bob also expressed frustration with the treaty process when he spoke to regional district directors this week

The Agreement in Principle signed by local First Nations with the provincial and federal governments “is not worth the paper it’s written on” because big issues have not been settled, Nanoose First Nation Chief David Bob told the Regional District of Nanaimo’s board of directors Tuesday night.

Bob’s Snaw-Naw-As nation is one of five that signed the Te’mexw treaty agreement in principle. Bob told the board it’s his hope a final agreement can be worked out in the next five years, but he didn’t sound confident and he said his people are in a holding pattern in terms of economic growth while they wait for a final deal to be reached.

“We’re in a position where we really can’t do anything until we settle the treaty,” said the chief. “We are still sitting here waiting, wondering what’s going to happen.”

As he has in the past, Bob used clear language to explain his people’s views on the land that stretches from French Creek to Piper’s Lagoon in Nanaimo to Arrowsmith Mountain.

“You’re on Snaw-Naw-As land, our traditional territory and you are guests in our home,” he said. “We are taught to treat our guests with respect, not to turn them away.”

Bob’s language seems to suggest it’s conceivable that some homeowners in this region could find themselves no longer governed and taxed by the regional district, City of Parskville or Town of Qualicum Beach.

“We can be friends or we can put the gloves on,” said the chief. “We’re used to fighting for everything we get. One hundred years of waiting, being patient, shows we’re not going anywhere.”

Bob said his nation has lost many elders who wanted to be around to see a resolution to the treaty and he spoke of his motivation in the fight for a treaty settlement — his three great grandchildren.

“They are the reason I’m fighting.”

Bob said land, fishing and hunting concerns have not been discussed in detail during the development of the agreement in principle (AIP). Any land provisions in the AIP are “as far as we’re concerned, inadequate.”

The chief said the five nations that are part of this AIP still consider themselves “Douglas Treaty bands,” a reference to a deal signed between First Nations and the British governor of Vancouver Island in the mid 1800s before Confederation.

RDN board members thanked Bob for his presentation but refrained from comment or questions about specific land or other treaty issues.

The chief ended his presentation with this: “I wish I had some fun words for you, that everything was hunky-dory, but it ain’t.”

See Tuesday’s edition of The NEWS for more from the RDN’s board meeting.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tigh-Na-Mara general manager Paul Drummond, left, and SOS executive director Susanna Newton right are prepared for a reinvented Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive in 2020. COVID-19 will not spoil the community’s annual day of giving and help for local families through the SOS Caring for Community at Christmas program. (Peter McCully photo)
Reinventing Parksville Qualicum Beach’s popular Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive

COVID-19 restrictions won’t spoil community’s annual morning of giving

Map of the location of the Telus cell tower that it plans to build in Qualicum Beach. (Town of Qualicum Beach Map)
Qualicum Beach council approves location of Telus communications tower

Plan is to improve cellphone service in the area

The City of Quesnel has painted its functional fire hydrants with different characters. (Quesnel Downtown Association Photo)
Qualicum Beach committee wants fire hydrants painted with sea life designs

Local artists would be invited to help with the work

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a woman who allegedly threw hot coffee on a McDonald’s employee. (News Bulletin photo)
UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP still looking for woman who threw coffee at worker after already receiving refund

Police asking for information in investigation that could lead to assault charges

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

Most Read