Development of the Claims Processes

Despite the laws that attempted to squash First Nations resistance to the colonial powers, Indian political organization continued to thrive. Andy Paull, Peter Kelly and others fought against the prohibitions against potlatching and fundraising. In 1951 these sections of the Indian Act were dropped. First Nations struggles to have the McKenna McBride cut-off lands returned to their reserves and for the recognition of Aboriginal Title and Rights were no longer illegal.

Returning Cut-off Lands

In 1967 the Squamish Band initiated a claim that began the development of a formal McKenna McBride cut-off claim process. Anxious to have their grievances recognized and settled, the Squamish Band and several other First Nations began negotiations with the Federal and Provincial governments. Unsuccessful negotiation led eight Nations to file lawsuits in 1979 against the federal government seeking return of, or compensation for, the cut-off lands. The claim of the Penticton Band was eventually the first settlement to be negotiated. The Penticton settlement was then used as a template for other cut-off claims. In 1996 the revised Indian Cut-Off Lands Dispute Act was created to deal exclusively with unresolved McKenna McBride cut-off claims in British Columbia.

Audio Video
Speaker at cut-off lands protest in Victoria
Speaker on community involvement in land claims; Philip Paul translating for Elder; Philip Paul on settling claims (excerpt from "The Land is the Culture," 1975)
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UBCIC representative discussing deadlines for negotiating settlement for the cut-off land claims (Meeting with Judd Buchanan, 9 January 1975)
Philip Paul on the right to self-determination and survival of humanity (UBCIC Special Peoples Assembly, 1992)

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Philip Paul on the social signifigance of the government accepting land claims (Meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau, 18 March 1974)

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