Archeological evidence of Secwépemc civilization with burial grounds on Stswecem’c Xget’tem (SXFN) First Nation territory.
Archaeological evidence of Secwépemc civilization at Xat’súll First Nation (Soda Creek).
Christopher Columbus and his support vessels become lost and land in the West Indies.
October 7, 1763
The Royal Proclamation was initially issued by King George III in 1763 to officially claim British territory in North America after Britain won the Seven Years War. In the Royal Proclamation, ownership over North America is issued to King George. However, the Royal Proclamation explicitly states that Aboriginal title has existed and continues to exist, and that all land would be considered Aboriginal land until ceded by treaty. The Proclamation forbade settlers from claiming land from the Aboriginal occupants, unless it has been first bought by the Crown and then sold to the settlers. The Royal Proclamation further sets out that only the Crown can buy land from First Nations. The Royal Proclamation, states Indians could not be “molested or disturbed” in the possession of their land. Thus, the Crown requires Treaties.
March 29, 1778
On March 29, 1778, in search of the Northwest Passage, Captain James Cook with two vessels, the ‘Resolution’ and the ‘Discovery’ sailed into Nootka Sound looking for a sheltered bay in which to make repairs. On March 31, Captain Cook anchored in Resolution Cove and while repairs on the ships continued, trading took place between the natives and Cook’s men. The Nootka offered various animal skins for trade, particularly the sea otter, but also offered such goods as carvings, spears and fish hooks.
Alexander McKenzie reaches the Pacific via an overland route.
Hudson Bay Company (HBC) receives an exclusive license to trade with Indians in all unsettled parts of North America. On Vancouver Island the Crown grants the Company trading rights and in charge of immigration and settlement.
British sovereignty resolved and Treaty of Oregon signed.
(April) Chief Factor (and future governor) James Douglas, HBC settles 14 Treaties on Vancouver Island. To negotiate the purchases Douglas began negotiations with the separate nations, beginning with the Songhees nation.
Gold seekers flood B.C. interior. Peter Dunlevy, United States miner, is invited by Secwepemc Chief Tomaah and guided by Carrier Baptiste to the first gold strike in the Cariboo at Horsefly.
The Nlaka’pamux (Thompson), St’at’imc (Lillooet), Syilx (Okanagan) and Secwépemc (Shuswap) engage in a war in the Fraser Canyon with American gold miners’ militias — elected leaders and established militias experienced in Indian wars in the U.S.A — to a standstill, compelling the Americans to sign a peace treaty with the Aboriginal Nations. B.C. Governor James Douglas abdicates responsibility, leaving it up to the Aboriginal warriors to defend the mainland from American invasion.
The Buckskin Band was virtually wiped out due to small pox brought from Europeans. The survivors of the six communities move for their own safety and join Esketemc and Xat’súll nations.
The Indian Act is created. Replacing the traditional governing system of Secwepemc with elected Band Councils; limit B.C. Aboriginal land base to 0.36 percent of B.C.’s total land mass and on to 1,613 reserves; eliminate economic development by prohibiting sale of Indian lands, agricultural goods, farm animals, or investing moneys earned by their communities; limiting the ability of Aboriginal to leave their reserve by requiring written permission from the Minister of Indian Affairs; and removing Aboriginal children from their families to attending distant Boarding Schools (later to be Residential).
Indian Agency office opens in Williams Lake.
Joseph Trutch, Chief Commissioner of Lands & Works British Columbia Colony, writes memo denying existence of Aboriginal rights.
April 22, 1870
B.C. Lands Ordinance Act passed the Legislative Council. It stated that, “any Male person being a British Subject, of the age of eighteen years or over, may acquire the right to pre-empt any tract of unoccupied, UDsurveyed, and unreserved Crown Lands (not being an Indian Settlement) not exceeding Three Hundred and Twenty Acres in extent in that portion of the Colony situated to the Northward and Eastward of the Cascade or Coast Range of Mountains, and One Hundred and Sixty Acres in extent in the rest of the Colony. Provided that such right of pre-emption shall not be held to extend to any of the Aborigines of this Continent, except to such as shall have obtained the Governor’s special permission in writing to that effect.”
In plain terms, men were able to acquire the rights to or claim any tract of unoccupied, un-surveyed, and unreserved Crown lands, not exceeding 320 acres in the majority of the province and 160 acres in southwestern B.C.,as long as the pre-emption did not extend to First Nations. Lands were surveyed at 10 acres per Aboriginal family.
B.C. joins Confederation. It is home to 33% of Bands in Canada, having 71% of all reserves, B.C. reserves account for 13% of total area of all reserves in Canada, and 64% of Canada’s unique Aboriginal languages exist only in B.C. and nowhere else in the world.
Chief William (T’exelc’- Williams Lake Band), Chief Ta O Task (Stswecem’c – Canoe Band), Chief Nariah (Xget’tem – Dog Creek), Chief Quib Quarlsa (Esket – Alkali Band), Chief Se Askut (Shuswap – Secwepemc), and Chief Kam Eo Satlze (Xat’súll-Soda Creek) meets with other Interior Chiefs in New Westminster to begin treaty talks with British Columbia (BC) government.
St. Joseph Mission opens near T̓exélc, “to make good British subjects” of three generations of Dakelth (Carrier), Secwepemc (Shuwap), Tsilhqot’in (Chilcotin) and many other Nations of B.C.
Treaty 8 is signed with the Beaver, Cree, and Slavey Aboriginal in the Peace River area of Northern B.C., Saskatchewan, and Alberta.
A delegation of 20 B.C. Aboriginal groups travel to England Privy Council regarding the land question.
The Jesup North Pacific, James Teit, History of The Shuswap Volume 2, Part 7 is published.
(August 25) Secwepemc Chiefs join Tsilhqot’in, Stl’atl’imc, Nl’kapmux, and Okanagan leaders in Kamloops to meet with Prime Minister of Canada Sir Wilfred Laurier. The Chiefs signed and personally presented the ‘Memorial to Sir Wilfred Laurier’, a document asking the Prime Minister to take land claim issues to Privy Council for
resolution. Laurier was defeated in the 1911 election.
The Memorial to Frank Oliver, Minister of the Interior, is presented. An expanded group of Interior Chiefs implore the Minister, then in charge of Indian Affairs, in powerful words to address the question of title, rights, and jurisdiction, which they view as fundamental to improving the living conditions of Aboriginal Peoples.
The Allied Tribes of B.C. (Coast Salish, Wet’suwet’en, Nisga’a, Tsimshian, Haida, Gitxan, Nuxalk, Tsilhqot’in, Dakelth, Kaska Dene, and Ktunaxa Kinbasket Nations) file a petition with Canada and B.C. governments for comprehensive land claim settlements.
Bill C-13 is passed and allows recommendations from the McKenna-McBride Commission. The Bill allows for reductions or “cut-offs” of reserves without the consent of resident Aboriginal. Contrary to provisions in the Indian Act.
Bill C-14 enfranchisement or removal of Aboriginal “status” due to fighting in wars, or who worked and lived off-reserve.
A Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, the highest court of Canada, rules Aboriginal Title is pre-existing and “must be presumed to have continued unless the contrary is established.”
Canadian Parliament amends the Indian Act, making it illegal to “receive, obtain, solicit, or request from an Indian any payment or contribution for the purpose for raising funds or providing money for the prosecution of any claim” without the consent of the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs (DIA).
B.C. Order-in-Council 1036 gives the final conveyance to Title to Indian reserves in B.C. to Canada (DIA).
B.C.-Canada agreement where each gets one half of mining revenues, Canada retains for the benefit of Indians and subject to Indian Agents veto.
Secwepemc people are allowed to vote in B.C. elections. Frank Calder of the Nisga’a Nation is, the first Aboriginal to be elected into the B.C. Legislature.
Secwepemc are allowed to vote in Federal elections.
Prime Minister Trudeau and DIA Minister Chretien’s White Paper advocates abolition of Indian status.
15 Interior Secwepemc, Dakelth, and Tsilhqot’in Bands join to form the Cariboo Tribal Council (CTC).
(May 1) That year Don Smith, Cree, became the first indigenous Agent to work in the Williams Lake Department of Indian Affairs office. On May 1 st a pre-planned peaceful take-over of the offices in Kamloops, Vernon and Williams Lake began. The local demonstration led by former T’exelc Chief Rick Gilbert, prompted the closure of the DIA office in Williams Lake.
First modern Treaty with Cree and Inuit of James Bay due to hydro project.
Federal government of Canada adopts a “comprehensive land claims policy”. Only 6 claims can be negotiated in Canada and 1 per province. Nisga’a start without B.C. taking part in negotiations.
(April) T̓exélc member Morris Bates opened at the Silver Slipper Casino in Las Vegas Nevada. Bates went on to become known as, “the world’s greatest Elvis impersonator” and only Wayne Newton was known to have performed longer on the Vegas strip.
The Shuswap Declaration: All seventeen communities in the Shuswap Nation agree to work together to work on the preservation and promotion of the Secwépemc language, culture and history.
The Canadian Constitution, sec. 35, affirms existing Aboriginal and Treaty rights.
Bill C-31 allows women and their children to have status back, as a result of enfranchisement. i.e. Secwepemc war veterans.
Secwepemc Chiefs over two years, reaffirm the Sir Wilfred Laurier Memorial in various resolutions, declarations, and publications.
Chief Justice Allen McEachern of B.C. Supreme Court, rules Aboriginal rights were extinguished by pre-Confederation legislation (Delgamuukw).
Report of the B.C. Claims Task Force recommends a new treaty process for B.C. By 1995 they develop the B.C. Treaty Commission Act. Subsequently, the Northern Secwépemc communities represented by the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council, as well as the Alkali Lake Band (Esk’etemc) join the B.C. Treaty process; the bands represented by SNTC do not join the B.C. Treaty process because some of those bands feel the process is fundamentally flawed.
(May) CTC Chiefs present the Premier Mike Harcourt and his Cabinet with Statement of Intent (SOI – 1st stage) at 108 Mile Resort.
British Columbia Treaty Commission (BCTC) agreement is reached between First Nation Summit (FNS), British Columbia, and Canada. Members of the FNS agree to 6 stage BCTC treaty process.
April 15, 1993
Former Member of Parliament for Cariboo-Chilcotin Lorne Greenaway was named to the BC Treaty Commission.
June 25, 1993
B.C. Court of Appeal overturns McEachern Delgamuukw decision, stating undefined Aboriginal rights continue to exist.
December 13, 1993
Shortly after the BC Treaty Commission is formed, the Cariboo Tribal Council files a SOI with BCTC, becoming one of the first groups to begin treaty talks.
August 31, 1994
A loan agreement ($213,600) between the Government of Canada & Cariboo Tribal Council was signed.
September 15, 1994
The Cariboo Tribal Council hires first full-time Treaty Coordinator based in Williams Lake, Roy Christopher (Tsq’escen).
Gustafson Lake standoff over traditional use of land. Secwepemc “Vision Quest” members told to stay off ranch leased land. Previously allowed to use for this ceremony. Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Canadian Army exchange gun fire with Secwepemc.
CTC Treaty Society (CTCTS) registered as a society, legal entity, to receive Treaty funding. Revised CTCTS Constitution.
BCTC declares Preparations for Negotiations complete (Stage 2). CTC Treaty table is ready for Stage 3 negotiations with B.C. and Canada.
CTCTS Bands donate funds to First Nation Summit and intervene the Delgamuukw trial, Supreme Court of Canada.
October 1, 1996
The Treaty Framework Agreement is signed between the Cariboo Tribal Council, Canada and British Columbia.
The general workshop on Area Wide Information Workshops begin at public meetings with CTC. Later workshops focused on Secwepemc culture (Feb. 1998), governance (Apr. 1998), and lands (June 1998).
Stage 3 Framework Agreement is signed between Canada, British Columbia and the four NStQ communities; Canim Lake, Canoe Creek, Soda Creek and Williams Lake Bands.
Delgamuukw Supreme Court of Canada declares Justice McEachern erred in his treatment of oral history evidence brought forth by Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en to prove their land claim. Aboriginal Title is unique, a right to exclusive use and occupation of land prior 1846, can only be transferred to the Federal Crown (Department of Indian and Northern Affairs – DIAND), held in common (not individual) by an Aboriginal group, and recognized by the Constitution Act, 1982.
Stage 4 Main Table actual negotiations begin. There are approximately 36 other First Nations in Stage 4. The first NStQ Chief Negotiators were the 4 Chiefs:
- Kúkpi7 Antoine Archie- Tsq’escen’ (Canim Lake)
- Kúkpi7 Dorothy Phillips- Xat’súll/Cmetém (Soda/Deep Creek)
- Kúkpi7 Nancy Sandy- T̓exélc (Williams Lake)
- Kúkpi7 Agnes Snow- Stswecem’c/Xget’tem (Canoe/Dog Creek)
BC Liberals challenge constitutionality of Nisga’a Treaty.
Canada & BC suggest land settlement of 27,000 hectares, which is rejected by NStQ negotiators. Canada & BC say, “if more land, less cash”.
May 4, 1999
Nisga’a Final Agreement signed. 200,000 hectares of TSL.
December 30, 1999
The Cariboo Tribal Council presented an Expression of Interest to the Ministry of Community Development, Co-operatives and Volunteers, through the Cariboo Economic Action Forum (CEAF) for the development of an Employment & Training office.
May 11, 2000
The Nisga’a Final Agreement Act becomes Canadian law. The Nisga’a surrender 92% of their territory and become subject to provincial and federal laws in exchange for expanded reserved lands over which they hold common title, and $190 million cash.
NStQ Treaty develops “Consolidated Land Interests” throughout statement of intent area.
Recently elected BC Liberal government holds referendum on treaty issues. The question, “Aboriginal self-government should have the characteristics of local government, with powers delegated from Canada and British Columbia”, Yes or No.
NStQ Treaty tables “Land Sharing Offer” consisting of over 544 thousand hectares of TSL lands and 761 thousand hectares of special management areas. The province responded by saying the two parties are now ‘farther apart’, while Canada asked NStQ to “further refine their land selection.”
The NStQ Treaty Team table the Natural Resource and Land Management chapters.
Based on previous governance research the NStQ Treaty chooses “Shared Governance” model, a law making authority shared between communities and a central NStQ body.
November 25, 2005
Canada, BC, First Nations Summit, Union of BC Indian Chiefs and BC Assembly of First Nations sign the “Transformative Change Accord”
The U.N. adopts the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Canada is one of four nations to vote against its adoption and remains one of the only countries which refuses to ratify.
NStQ agrees to a process by which BC will “status” approximately 100,000 hectares of potential Treaty Settlement Lands to begin negotiations about land. The NStQ Treaty team makes it clear that 100,000 hectares is not an appropriate TSL settlement.
February 12, 2009
Canada and BC make an initial “Land and Cash” offer of $42 million dollars and 62,000 hectares.
The Parties agree to negotiate a Shared Decision-Making Chapter, referencing a “land and resource use shared decision-making agreement” ensuring a strong and ongoing NStQ role in decisions throughout the Statement of Intent Area after Treaty.
Based on the Shared Decision-Making Chapter, NStQ and BC agree to a collaborative process to identify and status additional Treaty Settlement Lands.
Canada and BC make a revised Land and Cash offer for the Agreement in Principle. $48.7 million in cash. Land offered equaled 82,305 hectares (including existing reserves).
June 26, 2014
Supreme Court of Canada rules a decision in Tsilhqot’in Nation v. BC finds that Tsilhqot’in Nation has Aboriginal Title over about 43% of the claimed area. Aboriginal Title gives its owner the right to benefit from and “proactively use and manage” the land. The title to the rest of the claimed area was extinguished.
NStQ, Canada and BC Treaty Teams complete negotiations on Agreement-in-Principle.
February 19, 2015
Parties’ Chief Negotiators initial the AiP and sign a Letter of Understanding that address’ Final Agreement negotiations.
March 15, 2015
BC vetoes the appointment of George Abbott to the BC Treaty Commission with BC Premier Christy Clark saying that BC is ready to ‘walk away’ from the treaty process.
June 30, 2015
BC Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, John Rustad, reassures NStQ Chiefs that BC wants to discuss improvements to the Treaty Process with the “principals” (First Nation Summit), but the province remains “committed to continuing the treaty process at the negotiating table with [NStQ]”.
February 11, 2016
The Agreement in Principle Referendum Vote is held. The question on the ballot was, “Do you support the recommendation of Leadership Council to proceed to Final Agreement negotiations?” The voting at the Williams Lake Band was disrupted by non-member protestors who destroyed ballots and assaulted the RCMP officer assigned to keep the peace. The referendum passed in the other three communities.
April 28, 2016
The disrupted AiP referendum vote of February 11 th is re-held in Williams Lake. The referendum is passed.
July 20, 2018
An historic milestone in treaty negotiations is marked in a ceremony hosted by Tsq’escen’ (Canim Lake). Signing the Agreement in Principle were:
- Kúkpi7 Patrick Harry, Stswecem’c Xget’tem First Nation
- Kúkpi7 Andrea Gilbert, Xat’súll First Nation
- Kúkpi7 Ann Louie, Williams Lake First Nation
- Kúkpi7 Helen Henderson, Canim Lake Band
- Minister of Crown Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett, Government of Canada
- Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Scott Fraser, Province of British Columbia
March 19, 2019
The Government of Canada’s federal budget is released that forgives the accumulated treaty debt of the NStQ equaling over $32 million dollars.
March 20, 2019
Bill C-386 National Day of Truth & Reconciliation (Orange Shirt Day) legislation passes the 3 rd and final reading in the House of Commons. The bill was sent to the Senate for final approval, estimated to be in June. It’s called that in memory of a
piece of a clothing then-six-year-old Stswecem’c/Xgat’tem member Phyllis Webstad had taken from her on her first day at a residential school in 1973.
April 17, 2019
Stswecem’c/Xgat’tem member Phyllis Webstad and former CRD director Joan Sorely were recognized in a ceremony at the 9th Annual NStQ Citizens Assembly for their work on the Orange Shirt Day Society. Since their start in 2013, Orange Shirt Day on September 30th is observed across North America and around the world.
June 26, 2019
Celebrated T’exelec member Morris Bates passed away in Maple Ridge. Bates opened at the Silver Slipper Casino in Las Vegas Nevada in 1978, and went on to become known as, “the world’s greatest Elvis impersonator”. Only Wayne Newton was known to have performed longer on the Vegas strip.