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The Chief negotiators of Yale.

First Nations, British Columbia and Canada have initialed the Yale Final Agreement, another modern day treaty that will bring certainty to the land question in the Fraser Valley, and, one hopes, economic prosperity to the community.

"The Yale people have been in the Fraser Canyon for more than 9,000 years leading up to this moment," said Yale First Nation Chief Robert Hope. "This agreement gives us our life, our freedom and confirms our land. The certainty it brings provides a solid economic foundation upon which to build for future generations of Yale members."

The Final Agreement contains provisions for self-government, financial and land transfers. The land component will consist of approximately 1,966 hectares of Treaty Settlement Lands, made up of 217 hectares of former Indian reserves and 1,749 hectares of Crown lands owned in fee simple. In addition to this, approximately 21 hectares of provincial Crown land that is currently designated as Agricultural Land Reserve, will be transferred to Yale First Nation as Yale First Nation Land. This designation will not change except in accordance with the province's Agricultural Land Commission Act.

In addition, Yale First Nation will receive a capital transfer of $10.7 million and economic development funding of $2.2 million. The treaty provides mineral rights, forestry and domestic fish resources, as well as gathering and harvesting rights, within a context spelled out in the treaty. Yale First Nation's access to commercial fishing opportunities for Fraser River sockeye and pink salmon are outside of treaty in a separate Harvest Agreement.

As part of the negotiation process, agreements are initialed by chief negotiators and then voted on by eligible First Nation members to ratify. Once ratified, the Final Agreement will be introduced as legislation in the provincial and federal parliaments.

Yale First Nation entered the BC treaty process in April 1994. In March 2006, Yale First Nation and the governments of British Columbia and Canada signed an Agreement-in-Principle, laying the foundation for final agreement negotiations. Yale First Nation has approximately 150 members. Their traditional territory and reserve land are located within the Fraser Valley Regional District just north of Hope.
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Title Annotation:Windspeaker news briefs
Publication:Windspeaker
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Mar 1, 2010
Words:355
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