REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE

WEDNESDAY, March 29, 2000

The Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples has the honour to present its

FOURTH REPORT


Your Committee, to which was referred Bill C-9, an Act to give effect to the Nisga'a Final Agreement, has, in obedience to the Order of Reference of February 10, 2000, examined the said Bill and now reports the same without amendment, but with the observations appended to this report.

Respectfully submitted,

JACK AUSTIN
Chair


OBSERVATIONS

To the Fourth Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples

During the course of its hearings on Bill C-9, your Committee heard testimony concerning the potential impact of the Nisga’a Final Agreement on unresolved overlapping land claims of the Gitxsan and Gitanyow Nations in the Nass Valley region of northern British Columbia. Your Committee recognizes that the parties have attempted to address this question by including provisions in the Nisga’a Final Agreement that aim to preserve and protect the rights of Aboriginal peoples other than members of the Nisga’a Nation. Your Committee is nevertheless deeply concerned about the implications of outstanding overlap issues, not only in relation to the Nisga’a and neighbouring First Nations, but also in the broader context of the ongoing British Columbia treaty process involving over 50 First Nations. Your Committee therefore strongly urges the federal government and its negotiating partners to pursue vigourously all means at their disposal to ensure that overlap issues are resolved to the satisfaction of concerned First Nations prior to the conclusion of future land claim agreements.


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