POWELL RIVER, B.C. – The City of Powell River marked a historic occasion today.

The city celebrated the anniversary of the Tla’amin Nation treaty during a ceremony in Victoria.

It was three years ago that the Tla’amin people became self-governing.

According to a city release, paramount is respect for and appreciation of each other’s diverse backgrounds.

“Our treaty is about building a future for our children so that they can look forward to lives full of opportunity and choice,” said Tla’amin Hegus Clint Williams.

“This is the bedrock of self- determination — to have control of our lands, our rights and our economy — and I am proud of the Tla’amin people for their dedication to change things for the better, not only in the three years since we became free of the Indian Act, but for all the years that led up to that great day.”

“We raise our hands in celebration with our Tla’amin friends and neighbours,” said Powell River Mayor Formosa.

“Last year, Tla’amin and the City re-signed a Community Accord between the two governments. The document was first agreed to in 2003, predating Tla’amin becoming self-governing in 2016 by 13 years and well before the first steps were taken toward reconciliation by other governments in Canada.”

The accord documents that all residents of Powell River and Tla’amin trace their origin to societies of different cultural traditions, beliefs and values; residents of the city and members of Tla’amin have created, or have had created on their behalf, distinct local governing institutions, and Powell River; and that Tla’amin deem recognition, understanding and reconciliation the foundation of their communities’ common good.

The Tla’amin treaty was the fourth modern treaty to come into effect in British Columbia, leading the nation into a future of self-determination and self-government.

Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons, who attended the ceremony, said he congratulated Williams and legislators as they continue their hard work on implementation of the treaty.

“Treaty isn’t the beginning or end of a process, but a framework for strengthening the relationship between communities,” said Simons.