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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Reshaping Crown-First Nation relationships amid changing contexts : an examination of the intersection between the Crown's promise of a New Relationship and the implementations of the Forest and Range Agreement Rogers, Jessica

Abstract

As of June 2006, despite court rulings and sustained political opposition, one-hundred and six First Nations had signed Forest and Range Agreements/Opportunities, providing access to seventeen million cubic meters of timber and sharing more than one-hundred and twenty million dollars in revenue. The legality and 'fairness' of these policies has been analyzed and discussed, however FRAs continue to be ratified with little research on how they are actually working on the ground. Using anthropological and political-science research and analytic tools, the thesis examines the state of the implementation of the Gitxaala Nation's Forest and Range Agreement in the era of the New Relationship's commitment to work towards the reconciliation of Aboriginal and Crown titles and jurisdictions. The examination demonstrates that the New Relationship's vision is ambiguous and has resulted in a lack of a shared understanding concerning objectives and successful implementation. The findings indicate that this lack of mutual understanding is impeding the establishment of a truly new relationship in which the Crown and the Gitxaala Nation can work together to successfully implement the FRA. Furthermore the case study demonstrates that Provincial policy without clear directives allows for interpretation by local policy implementers which is resulting in discrepancies in policy outcomes. In the case of Gitxaala, until clear policies and directives are developed that respond to a mutually understood vision, the New Relationship and the FRA simply represent a 'new' Provincial tactic for the Province to maintain a hold on resources and create certainty for industry in an era of strengthened Aboriginal claims

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