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REPORTING · 12th May 2010
Merv Ritchie
The Nisga’a celebrations yesterday, Tuesday, May 11th, on the ten year anniversary of the signing of the Treaty, which provided the Nisga’a Nation self government and independence, has been delivered another historical marker. The Honourable Steven L. Point, Lieutenant Governor of B.C., in his address to the Nisga’a declared May 11th to be a day of Celebration in British Columbia. It was delivered as a proclamation from the Queen, the Sovereign head of Canada, through her representative; an act the Lieutenant Governor stated may have never been done previously.

“What a great day of celebration it is”, he began, referring to the presentations and displays of kindness he experience as he returned to the Nass Valley, “but more so for the people of British Columbia and for the people of Canada.”

He had finished his prepared speech and began speaking directly to the people on his observations and of the performance of the children born since the day the treaty was signed. These children, all under ten years old are being referred to as the treaty babies and they performed ‘Oh Canada’ in Nisga’a.

“I was wondering, since I’m the Lieutenant Governor of this province, since I represent the Queen who is the Sovereign head of the country; I wondered if I have any powers here today.” He paused for great dramatic effect and drew laughter when he continued with, “Well the answer is, not really.” yet he continued, “But I do have the ability to make a proclamation and I’m going to do just that.”

“Perhaps never done in history, perhaps never done by a previous representative of the Crown; but on behalf of all that I’ve seen here today, in lieu of the ten years that you’ve spent since the treaty has been signed and in recognition of your self government since time immemorial, I declare that May the eleventh be a day of celebration in all of British Columbia in lieu and in recognition of the Nisga’a victory.”

With that the crowd of at least a thousand erupted in applause.
The Treaty Babies sang Oh Canada in Nisga'a
The Treaty Babies sang Oh Canada in Nisga'a