Same process, different results: comparing cases in the BC treaty process




Wignes, Carly Em

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The purpose of this thesis is to determine the key explanatory factors that explain why some First Nations reach an agreement through the British Columbia Treaty Process, while others do not. To do this, analytical frameworks from Gabrielle Slowey and Christopher Alcantara are empirically applied to three First Nations who are (or were) negotiating agreements in the province. The findings conclude that negotiations in the Treaty Process produce different results for the same reasons that Alcantara and Slowey identify for Aboriginal groups throughout Canada. They depend on the particular circumstances of each First Nation within the current institutional structure. This structure defines the relationship between Aboriginal and state actors and provides a set of options from which the former may choose to navigate their futures. However, in addition to the determining factors that Alcantara and Slowey identify, this thesis finds that it is also imperative to take into account the desire of a First Nation to use the Treaty Process as a means to progress along its own path of self-determination.



First Nations, treaty process, Sliammon, Westbank, Tsawwassen, British Columbia