B.C. to address Supreme Court ruling, chiefs' hangings: Premier Clark

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VANCOUVER - British Columbia's government says it is addressing a recent high court decision and a historic wrong dating back 150 years with the Tsilhqot'in (sill-KOH'-teen) First Nation in the province's Interior.

Premier Christy Clark and other provincial officials met this week with Tsilhqot'in national chiefs to address the Supreme Court of Canada decision granting title to 1,750 square kilometres of its territory.

The government also says plans are being made to redress the unjust hanging of six Tsilhqot'in chiefs during the Chilcotin (chill-COAT'-in) War in 1864.

The chiefs thought they were meeting for peace talks, but were instead arrested, tried for murder and then hanged, an action that tribal chairman Joe Alphonse says lead to a 150-year-old tumultuous relationship with government.

Alphonse says the meeting with the premier demonstrated that a different path is possible and he hopes it will set an example for the federal governments over First Nations' rights and interests.

Clark calls the discussions a good first step towards a stronger relationship with the nation, and the Supreme Court of Canada ruling shows the path forward must be taken in partnership, respect and recognition.

Organizations: Supreme Court of Canada

Geographic location: VANCOUVER, British Columbia

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