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Democracy debated: BCTC referendum

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Published on Nov 20, 2008

"It's the single-most destructive process I've seen in my lifetime," says Hupacasath Chief Judith Sayers about a controversial B.C. treaty referendum. In 1998, the Nisga'a band became the only aboriginal nation in the province to settle a land claim. The groundbreaking victory, won while Glen Clark was premier, gave the band title to 2,000 square kilometres of Crown land.

Four years later, Premier Gordon Campbell's new government is taking a more cautious approach.

British Columbians will vote in an eight-question referendum on the importance of settling treaties. Campbell sees the vote as a democratic right. Liberal MLA Gillian Trumper, a local politician who also supports the referendum, believes it will help speed up treaty negotiations. But native groups find the process "racist," rather than democratic, and have begun forms of protest, as seen in this clip of a CBC Television documentary on the referendum.
Broadcast Date: April 25, 2002

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