McLeod Lake Agreement

The McLeod Lake Indian Band Treaty No. 8 Adhesion and Settlement Agreement was signed in March 2000, settling long-standing dispute over the band's claim for land and other benefits of Treaty No. 8. Legislation was passed in June 2000 to implement provincial obligations under the agreement, and received the support of all members of the BC Legislature. Under the agreement, the province provided a total of 19,810 hectares of Crown land, transferred to Canada and held as reserves for the benefit of the McLeod Lake Indian band.

Treaty 8 was originally signed in 1899 and covers a portion of northeastern B.C., as well as parts of Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories. The government's Treaty No. 8 Commission visited almost all of the First Nations within the area covered by Treaty No. 8 and obtained their adherence to the treaty after its initial signing in 1899. However, the commissioners were not able to visit the McLeod Lake band to obtain its adherence. Canada's review of historical evidence found that, although the First Nation was overlooked by the early Treaty No. 8 Commission, its ancestors inhabited the area covered by Treaty No. 8 and were likely entitled to adhere to the treaty. The treaty provided for the release of the aboriginal title of First Nations in the treaty area and, in exchange, promised those First Nations 51.8 hectares (128 acres) per person of reserve lands, as well as other benefits.