I just want to respond to some of the comments made on the ITA which LBN and the BC gov't agreed to. This IS NOT a treaty it's an agreement that BC will transfer some crown land back to LBN until LBN and both governments come up with a treaty, if ever. I have consulted with our hereditary chief effected to this agreement and made numerous updates on our newsletter and further on video on the LBN Treaty website. This agreement is with BC only as Canada chose to stay out of it. In the Canadian constitution BC has the power over land issues so BC came up with a plan a few years ago to deal with 1st Nations on land issues for those who are near Treaties. I can tell you that LBN is not near and close to any Treaty with Canada or BC. I have known some people in gov't and got them to talk about an ITA (Incremental Treaty Arrangement) with us. I'll give a couple where it will benefit us, in Ft. Babine we get the land back where the Ft Babine Resort sits on which means the resort rather than paying taxes and lease fee to the BC gov't they will pay it to LBN on our arrangement. In the Old Fort area we are getting all of McKendrick Island back as it was going up for sale and will be lost to us. Across Old Fort beside IR 12 we will get the land back to build a community and other Ec. Del. opportunities as its hard for the Old Fort members to get across.
So hopefully you can see the benefits to LBN which otherwise would lose these lands. We need to protect our lands in any way we can as there is one small Nation that will take our right in our territory if we don't do anything. I would like to assure you that we did not sign any treaty with governments to sign away our rights. This is a false statement made and not consulting with the hereditary chiefs is also a lie. Please look at the video I did way back and the reports I did on this ITA. Just jumping on this without facts is not right and just harms you. Let's be civil about this and look at the facts.
Lake Babine Nation is third largest Aboriginal Band in British Columbia. Lake Babine Administration Office is situated 142 miles West of Prince George, with a total registered membership of over 2,310 [based on 2008 population]. The Nation has 27 reserve lands and three (3) communities, which are inhabited year round, and two that are inhabited year round from time to time.
Prior to 1957, Lake Babine was two separate Bands, the Old Fort Band and the Fort Babine Band, both situated on the Babine Lake. At the time, approximately 12 communities were inhabited year round.
On June 12, 1957, Department of Indian Affairs amalgamated the two Bands to form what is now known as the Lake Babine Nation.
Health & Wellness Centre: health facilities available in Tachet, Fort Babine and Woyenne for community health services; with a Wellness in Woyenne and staffing in Tachet and Fort Babine for mental health, drug and alcohol related services.
Education: an elementary school operates in Fort Babine; a preschool / kindergarten, day care and Adult Learning Centre operates in Woyenne.
The Potlatch and Hereditary Chiefs system is strongly practiced. The Potlatch system comprises of four (4) main clans, which are:
1) Beaver/Grouse Clan;
2) Frog/Marten Clan;
3) Caribou/Mountain; and,
4) Bear/Grizzly Clan.
There are over 120 Hereditary Chiefs. The Hereditary Chiefs play an important role in both the political and cultural affairs of the Nation. In addition to the elected Chief and Councillors, the Nation also has an Office of Hereditary Chiefs and a Council of Elders.
The Lake Babine Nation Administration comprising Management and support staff is committed to maintaining a progressive approach to achieve advanced management skills and serve its Council by providing professional services that involves equitable treatment to all individuals or organizations in all aspects of business developments and social harmony.
Political Governing Structure
Presently, the Lake Babine Nation Council is comprised of a Chief, and nine Councillors that are elected for a three-year term under the Band Custom Election.
A Deputy Chief is selected from the Council by the elected Chief. One Councillor from Old Fort, two Councillors from Fort Babine, two Councillors from Tachet and four Councillors from Woyenne Reserve and one Councillor would represent Pinkut Lake/Donalds Landing.
The operation of the Lake Babine Nation is overseen by a General Manager; who is responsible for all the Nation's Programs. General Manager reports to the Chief and Councillors and the Elders Council.
Presently, there is a newly formed Youth group.
Our Vision for the Governance of the Nation:
"The governance of the Lake Babine Nation in unity will honor and serve all communities and members of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Lake Babine Nation will holistically plan and ensure the principals of equality, accountability, transparency, commitment and trust to preserve and enhance our traditional culture, language, families, lands and resources for time immemorial."