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Cheslatta vote in favour of settlement agreement with province

Cheslatta members have voted overwhelmingly in favour of accepting the Cheslatta – BC Settlement Agreement and Cheslatta Community Trust, according to a post on the band’s website.

“This day, March 14, 2019, will be noted in Cheslatta history as the day that Cheslatta members finally reconciled their grievances with British Columbia over the flooding of their lands and started the process of rebuilding their community and healing their land and people,” says Chief Corrina Leween. “On behalf of chief and council, our staff and settlement agreement team that have worked so hard to negotiate this settlement and trust, thank you. We are so proud of our Nation and the bright future we have before us.”

Details of the vote, which was held March 14, and the agreement were not posted. However, the band will now inform the province of the results.

The Cheslatta Carrier Nation is based at Southbank, on the south shore of Francois Lake, 23 kilometres south of Burns Lake. Many members of the Cheslatta Carrier Nation live on 17 reserves scattered over a vast area known as the Southside.

In 1950, the province granted the Alcan the rights to all of the water in Cheslatta traditional territory which flowed into the Nechako River. This was the start of a hydroelectric project in which Alcan dammed the Nechako River, flooding Ootsa, Tetachuk and Tahtsa Rivers, creating the 400 kilometre long Nechako reservoir.