Mr. Speaker, over the past weekend, members of four bands on Vancouver Island ratified a historic treaty. The Toquaht, Uchucklesaht, Ucluelet and Kyuquot joined the Huu-ay-aht in voting for an overwhelming endorsement, making this the second treaty approved under the B.C. treaty process.
Inasmuch as four of the five bands are situated in my riding of Nanaimo—Alberni, I take great pleasure in offering congratulations to the chiefs, counsellors and the treaty ratification committees. Perhaps Tom Happynook of the Huu-ay-aht said it best, “As of today, I am proud to be a Huu-ay-aht. I am proud to be a Maa-Nulth. I am proud to be a British Columbian and I'm proud to be a Canadian”.
Congratulations are also due to Premier Gordon Campbell and our own Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. This historic agreement will now be presented in the B.C. legislature and eventually here in the Canadian Parliament for ratification.
This treaty offers great potential to launch a whole new future for these first nations. It is hoped that the spirit of collaboration and goodwill that has infused the treaty process will spearhead a whole new chapter for all of British Columbia.