The Shadow of the Law and the British Columbia Treaty Process: 'Can the Unthinkable Become Common Place'?
Melbourne Law School
HONOUR AMONG NATIONS? TREATIES AND AGREEMENTS WITH INDIGENOUS PEOPLE, Marcia Langton, Maureen Tehan, Lisa Palmer and Kathryn Shain, eds., Melbourne University Press, 2004
The chapter focuses on the British Columbia Treaty process as a site for the exploration of the links between identified and recognised legal rights and the negotiation of settlements between indigenous peoples and settlers. This is done in the broader context of treaty and agreement making in Canada as a whole and the political conflict over the control of territory and resources. The chapter reflects on legal developments in British Columbia that both underpin and limit or hinder the treaty process. The British Columbia experience suggests that while law plays a significant role in the formulation and conduct of negotiations, agreement making is influenced by a range of other factors including the government's position in relation to negotiations and litigation as one aspect of the battle over recognition, land and resources.
Keywords: British Columbia Treaty, legal rights, indigenous peoples, Canada, negotiation, litigation
JEL Classification: K11, K12, K19, K32, K33, K39
Date posted: August 30, 2004