More than 100 members of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) are holding their annual meeting in Kamloops this week, on the Tk’emlúps te Secwèpemc Reserve.
A number of First Nations people are stressing they should be asked for their consent on big projects like pipelines.
“There’s a lot of happy lawyers across this country, but we are not making much progress,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, the president of the UBCIC.
He says while the Trans Mountain pipeline is the priority now in British Columbia, delegates are concerned about what’s happening across the country.
“There needs to be a paradigm shift with all major resource development in this country to take into consideration indigenous laws and values,” he added. “To date, we have been pretty much marginalized and its created a growth industry in the courts.”
Philip has been the president of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs for 20 years and has one more year on his term.