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First Nations’ economic clout decades in the making – Vancouver Sun

by ahnationtalk on June 4, 2015523 Views

June 3, 2015

B.C. aboriginals flexing their economic might today are enjoying not an instant success, but rather the results of decades of legal struggles.

“The history is that the province ignored First Nations for 120-some years,” says associate professor Gordon Christie, director of the indigenous legal studies program at the University of B.C. “That’s why we’re at this point now. They can no longer ignore the problem.”

In the early 1850s, colonial governor James Douglas negotiated treaties with 14 B.C. bands on Vancouver Island before the money from London ran out. He made no effort to keep the ball rolling and compensate natives using creative methods, such as sharing in the sales of their traditional lands to settlers.

“It would have paid for itself,” Christie said. “There were other ways of doing this.”

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