Land Claims Agreement Coalition

Mr. Aldridge is a member of the British Columbia Bar and was an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of British Columbia. Since 1980, he has represented the Nisga`a Nation in contract negotiations and has worked as a consultant most of the time. He was a member of the legal team that represented the Manitoba Métis Federation in its claim to Méti`s land rights under the Manitoba Act. The coalition has emphasized on numerous occasions that the Crown, by ratifying modern treaties, acquires security and clarity on the title of land and natural resources and allows it to grant development rights to third parties who are not burdened by Aboriginal title. Aboriginal educators, on the other hand, are still waiting for the full degree of benefits promised for the exercise of many rights and to benefit from incomplete implementation. The Canadian government`s general refusal to conduct arbitration proceedings to resolve disputes, as provided for in almost all agreements, has become a symbol, as has a frustrated implementation. In 1985, Aboriginal people, negotiating extensive fomentary claims, formed a coalition to push the Government of Canada to extend the rights and benefits that could be incorporated into modern treaties. This initiative was largely supported by the adoption in 1986 of the broad land pretension policy. However, only one sentence of this policy deals with implementation, which requires the entry into force of an implementation plan when ratification of any modern treaty.

In November 2003, the Aborigines founded the Land Claims Agreements Coalition (LCAC), which jointly urged the Government of Canada to pursue a formal policy of full implementation of these agreements. Chaired by NTI and Nisga`a Nation, the LCAC organized and sponsored two conferences in Ottawa, attended by approximately 500 people, including foreign guests, to explore opportunities for the implementation of modern contracts. From November 2003 to December 2005, legal and technical representatives of LCAC members met regularly with representatives of DIAND, the Ministry of Justice and others, assisted by the Privy Council Office, to jointly outline the parameters of a modern policy for the implementation of the treaty.