First Nations Kinships

When the agents of the Dominion of Canada assigned Coast Salish peoples to reserves in the 19th Century, they brought with them foreign concepts of property and governance. Assigning the 98 Indian bands a fixed location and European style government disturbed a working Salish system of extended kinship and resource sharing that had knit the Coast Salish peoples into a harmonious nation for thousands of years. Now, a century and a half later, eager to gain title over lands usurped from the Coast Salish Nation, British Columbia and Canada are attempting to fast-track a treaty process designed to divide and conquer the tribes. In the four-part series on BCs flawed modern treaty process, now in its 20th year, The Tyee reporter Carly Wignes examines how the tribes are attempting to work things out in their own time-honored way, despite the enormous pressure and coercion from the governments of Ottawa and Victoria.

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