BC still trying to help businesses ousted by Aboriginal title, says minister

“A fund was made available to the Tsilhqot’in for property acquisition … but it appears that they weren’t interested in all of the tenures.” The Honourable Murray Rankin 

The B.C. government still wants to find a way to compensate Chilcotin guide outfitters displaced by the Tsilhqot’in First Nation court case, says a top cabinet minister, despite problems getting such a deal approved inside the government.

Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Minister Murray Rankin said he understands the frustration of four guide outfitters who’ve spent years waiting for some sort of resolution, after losing access to hunting land they had certificates for following the Tsilhqot’in court ruling on Indigenous title a decade ago.

Last week the outfitters went public, saying after six years of negotiations for a settlement they were informed by an associate deputy minister in the government that their compensation package had been rejected by treasury board.

“The finality that they seemed to suggest is not the case,” Rankin said in an interview. “The point remains we are still trying to actively work on this and find a way forward.”

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