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Aboriginal Lands Returned


The B.C. government says it will return more than 5,000 hectares of land seized from aboriginal bands more than 90 years ago.
Aboriginal Relations Minister Mike de Jong says the cash and land agreements with the last four of 22 B.C. First Nations to lose their land, end a difficult chapter in Canadian history.
A dance, drum and prayer ceremony at the B.C. legislature earlier today marked the agreements.

The story began when a 1912 royal commission examined the size of aboriginal reserves across the country and as a result about 500 new reserves were created across Canada.
But the 22 B.C. aboriginal nations had portions of their reserves, amounting to about 19,020 hectares, cut off without their consent.
Chief Harold Leighton of the Metla-katla First Nation near Prince Rupert says the land-return agreements are a sign the province is willing to negotiate, but what BC aboriginals really want is an easier, less expensive way to negotiate land-claims treaties with government.

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