In the hundred years since British Columbia joined Confederation, Canada has negotiated only one treaty in the province. A decade after signing the Nisga'a treaty, and despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars, the BC Treaty Commission process had not finalized a single treaty. This impassioned book explains why.
The long answer to the question, says author Tony Penikett, is rooted in colonial history: provincial resistance, federal indifference and judicial equivocation. The short answer is that Canadian governments have wanted treaties solely on their own terms. Drawing on three decades of experience as a negotiator and a politician, Penikett argues persuasively that successful treaty making requires not only principled mandates, imaginative negotiators and skilled mediators, but also the political will to redress First Nation grievances. The treaty process in BC is ailing, this book shows clearly, andPenikett has many practical remedies to offer.