Treaty Talks in British Columbia: Negotiating a Mutually Beneficial Future


126 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-7748-0587-0
DDC 333.2





Reviewed by David Mardiros

David Mardiros is a lawyer and anthropological consultant in Kars,


British Columbia is the only province in Canada that did not establish a
treaty relationship with Native peoples at, or shortly after, the
beginning of European colonization. With the exception of a few early
treaties, successive B.C. governments have refused to acknowledge land
rights based on aboriginal title in the province. The first chapter
provides a history of government policy—and a description of
aboriginal responses to that policy—leading to the establishment of
the British Columbia Treaty Commission in 1993. Subsequent chapters
discuss the treaty-making process and the interests of the Native groups
involved. The book concludes with a brief discussion of social problems
on reserves and the potential impacts of treaty settlements on economic

McKee’s examination of the treaty process fails to consider a variety
of impediments that have risen as negotiations have progressed. (One of
the most serious irritants has involved the Interim Measures Agreements
that were designed to ensure the protection of natural resources on
lands subject to negotiation.) While this book provides an overview of
the development of a treaty framework in British Columbia, the lack of
detail about the actual process of treaty negotiations limits its
usefulness to scholars and those involved in the settlement of Native


McKee, Christopher., “Treaty Talks in British Columbia: Negotiating a Mutually Beneficial Future,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed November 29, 2023,