Mr. Speaker, in a three year run-up to signature of the Nisga'a treaty no fewer than 296 meetings and public consultations were held in the Nisga'a region with chambers of commerce, business people and governmental authorities. But no fewer than 13 meetings were held with a small, predominantly non-aboriginal regional committee representing Nass Valley residents. They addressed a wide range of their concerns: watershed protection, access to water, legal status of isolated fee simple titles and replacement tenures, forestry, mining, fisheries and wildlife.
The process of consultation on the Nisga'a treaty was astonishingly extensive given the remoteness of the region and its sparse population of 6,000 people. This is genuine grassroots participatory democracy in action and it is reflected in the final treaty.