In the hundred years since British Columbia joined Confederation, Canada has negotiated only one treaty in the province. A decade after signing the Nisga'a treaty, and despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars, the BC Treaty Commission process had not finalized a single treaty. This impassioned book explains why.
The long answer to the question, says author Tony Penikett, is rooted in colonial history: provincial resistance, federal indifference and judicial equivocation. The short answer is that Canadian governments have wanted treaties solely on their own terms. Drawing on three decades of experience as a negotiator and a politician, Penikett argues persuasively that successful treaty making requires not only principled mandates, imaginative negotiators and skilled mediators, but also the political will to redress First Nation grievances. The treaty process in BC is ailing, this book shows clearly, and Penikett has many practical remedies to offer.
"This is an important, much-needed book. Here is context and wisdom about how Canada -- and the world -- can bring fresh approaches to rectifying historic injustices and getting real results."
"Tony Penikett has broad experience and a deep intellectual curiosity about treaty making in Canada. As this book shows, he is a strong advocate of the use of mediation in the process."
"With his great wit, deep knowledge of history and passion for social justice, Tony Penikett has been a remarkable presence at Canada's constitutional table. No one understands better the encounter between native and non-native and north and south."