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'Historic' law recognizing Haida Aboriginal title introduced in B.C. legislature

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The B.C. government says legislation formally recognizing the Haida Nation's Aboriginal title over Haida Gwaii was introduced in the legislature Monday.

The province says the “Rising Tide” Haida Title Lands Agreement is the first negotiated agreement of its kind in Canada, providing for a “staged transition” to Haida jurisdiction.

Haida Nation President Jason Alsop says the new law in B.C. is a “step toward peaceful co-existence” with the province.

Alsop says the new legislation means the nation can realize its “vision for Haida Gwaii” free of conflict with the provincial government.

He says the Nation plans on taking control of Haida Gwaii's economy according to Haida “values and traditions,” taking a sustainable rather than exploitive approach to the land and the sea.

Alsop says the B.C. government was “honourable” to recognize the Nation's title after more than “150 years of denial.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 22, 2024.

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