Chiefs reject proposed Recognition and Reconciliation Act

Aboriginal Law Blog

August 28, 2009

At British Columbia's All Chiefs Assembly, a gathering of 250 chiefs (elected and hereditary) met with native elders to discuss the BC government's proposed Recognition and Reconciliation Act, and formally rejected the proposed legislation on Friday (August 28, 2009). The Chiefs issued a statement to the media, quoting Grand Chief Edward John as stating that "The Province of British Columbia cannot and does not have jurisdiction over our Indigenous Title and Rights and as such the proposed legislation is dead.

Under the proposed Recognition and Reconciliation Act, First Nations bands would not need to prove their aboriginal title in court, and a system would be established for joint decision-making and resource-sharing on Crown land within a band's traditional territories. In addition, it would provide for the creation of a new system of native governance to replace the 203 bands in the province with 30 Indigenous Nations based on pre-contact native society.