Sandspit invites CHN to discuss protocol agreement

  • Jul. 18, 2007 6:00 p.m.

Sandspit, the only community on the islands which has not signed a protocol agreement with the Council of the Haida Nation, has written its own version of a protocol agreement and will be sending it to the CHN, along with an invitation to sit down and discuss it with community representatives. Sandspit’s local government body, the Moresby Island Management Committee, voted July 11 to send the document and the invitation to the Haida Nation, following a closed-door meeting July 4 during which the issue was discussed in depth. Management committee chair Gail Henry said Sandspit’s document is based partly on the protocols signed between the CHN and other island communities, and partly on an agreement between Prince George and a neighbouring First Nations community on communication and working together. Sandspit did not sign the protocol at the same time as the other communities (Masset and Port signed it in 2004, Area D and Queen Charlotte in 2006) partly because some residents were concerned about the references to aboriginal title, Ms Henry said. They thought it was the provincial government’s responsibility to recognize aboriginal title and that this recognition was not something Sandspit has the authority to do. “We’ve been trying to work on a way to work with the Haida,” Ms Henry said. “We have always been willing to sign an agreement about working together, it’s crazy not to work together.” Sandspit’s regional district director, Travis Glasman, attends the protocol agreement meetings and sits with the other community leaders, although he doesn’t vote.

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