Mr. Speaker, last Thursday we learned of the passing of Nelson Leeson, president of the Nisga'a Lisims government.
Mr. Leeson was a strong leader and visionary who distinguished himself serving his people. He worked tirelessly to close the social and economic gaps between aboriginal people and other Canadians. He was at the forefront of treaty making in British Columbia and he was instrumental in negotiating the Nisga'a final agreement, the first modern treaty in B.C.
Earlier this month, the Nisga'a membership ratified a national precedent-setting private land initiative on Nisga'a settlement lands, which Mr. Leeson promoted. His contributions to the implementation of modern treaties in Canada will be missed.
On behalf of the Government of Canada, I extend my deepest sympathies at this difficult time to the family, friends and colleagues of Mr. Leeson. Our thoughts are with Mr. Leeson's family and the people of the Nisga'a Nation.