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.

Just Posted

Search is on for parties to build $10.7M Bowser sewage project

Further investigation of land disposal option rejected by RDN board

Parksville council won’t ban single-use plastic bags

Politicians vote 6-1 against proposed bylaw

RDN dealing with high interest in backyard cannabis production

New policy proposed to address challenges with Health Canada licences

Qualicum Beach doles out Community Awards

Jacobson is Citizen of the Year; new mayor Wiese named top newsmaker

Finalists announced for annual Business Achievement Awards

Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce honours individuals, businesses

Fashion Fridays: Must-have wardrobe basics

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

More sailings coming to 10 BC Ferries’ routes

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the sailings were originally cut in 2014

Nanaimo Clippers say former CEO overcharged, took liquor sales money

Ownership group of B.C. Hockey League team files lawsuit in Supreme Court

Cryptocurrency exchange CEO who suddenly died leaves Kelowna house in will

Gerald Cotten, holding the keys to money tied up in his virtual currency exchange, died in December.

Regulator’s report, coming today, unlikely to settle Trans Mountain pipeline battle

The Trans Mountain pipeline will remain a controversial topic both in the political ring and out

Most Read