Skatin Summary February 2, 2011

The day started with an opening prayer from Marie. Lorrinda James did a brief introduction and review of the agenda. Following that, were opening comments from Mike, in which he spoke on how the impacts from Hydro have affected our lands and also to seek a small measure of justice and that this will move us forward. Then Tom Molloy mentioned that it wasn't actually a meeting, but a surprise birthday for Chief Pat Williams! Tom also explained that there have been a couple questions that have been coming up at these information sessions and he reviewed those questions.

During the presentation Lorrinda spoke on how we are getting the word out to other members and encouraged people to check the St’at’imc webiste, Facebook and photos that get posted from each meeting. Jacob Beaton continued the presentation by sharing information about the history of the Chiefs from 1911 and different impacts throughout the community. There were many years of work and the Chiefs today are taking a small measure of justice. There was also a breakdown of the compensation and settlement, Environmental Stewardship, Living Agreement and Relationship. Once we finished up with the presentation we were able to open the floor to questions for the members;

Q: Do any of the people see this money or does it go and stay into the trust?
A: Each community receives benefits that are specific to that community, in addition to the funds that are placed in the trust.

Q: How many years has this being going on?
A: Negotiations have been ongoing since 1993.

Q: Are membership list being updated for the vote?
A: We are asking members to spread the word on making sure the their address has been updated. It is up to each community member to ensure their band office has their current address so we are able to mail out the information packages and ballots.

Q: How are the trustees selected, by the people or the council?
A:  Each community selects one trustee that is not an elected official (Chief, or Councillor). They also don't have to be a member of that community, but should be someone the community trusts. How the community goes through this decision-making process is up to each community to decide (election, appointment, etc).

There were over 20 members from the surrounding community that were able to attend this meeting and educate themselves on this important agreement.

-Lorrinda James

Samahqwam Summary February 1, 2011

The meeting started with the opening prayer and blessing of the food from Chief Brenda. For dinner was a salad bar, mashed potatoes, ham, roast, gravy, pickles and for dessert we had ice cream and cake. With an overview of the agenda from Lorrinda James, we had opening comments from Mike Leech. He spoke about how long he has been working with this project and why he’s in favour of this agreement. Tom Molloy also had opening comments. He had spoke about how in his second visit he mentioned that he was looking forward to his thurd visit for this meeting, which was this evening.

Getting started with the presentation, Lorrinda spoke about how to get the word out and that members who do come to the meetings should tell other St’at’imc members to come out. After that, Jacob Beaton discussed the history of the agreement and on how St'at'imc have been impacted.
With the second part of the presentation, Raymond Phillips was able to explain the different agreement packages.

Some of the questions from the floor were:

Q: Who can be a trustee?
A: Each community selects one trustee that is not an elected official (Chief, or Councillor). They also don't have to be a member of that community, but should be someone the community trusts. How the community goes through this decision-making process is up to each community to decide (election, appointment, etc).

Q: Has anyone received information from our elders for this agreement?
A: Yes, a lot of work was done over the years to research and catalogue all the impacts and history from every community and present them to BC Hydro as part of the negotiations.

Q: What happens if BC Hydro goes bankrupt?
A: The province of BC is a party to the agreement, part of their role is to guarantee the payments in case BC Hydro can't make them for any reason. If there were delays on payments, interest would be added as well.

Q: Are these agreements set in place?
Absolutely not. The Chiefs have only signed the 'Ratification Agreement.' What this means is that they've come to an agreement after much negotiation with the other parties, and have now put it in the hands of members. If members vote 'Yes' that will give the leadership the authority they need to sign the Agreements. Without the authorization from community members, this Agreement will not happen.

As the successful meeting wrapped up, the 22 members in attendance were anxious for the door prize draw to win some prizes for participating.

Lorrinda James

Xwisten Summary January 30, 2011

We started with an overview of the agenda. Chief Bradley Jack made opening comments with his thoughts and comments on this agreement. Chief Bradley had asked Albert Joseph to say the opening prayer. After that, Geouls and Sandra sang the ‘Welcome’ song, followed by introductions from Legal, BC Hydro, SCC and CopperMoon.

Community members came in during the Open House to sign up and receive their packages. We then had opening remarks from Mike Leech, SCC, and Tom Molloy, BC Hydro.

The presentation started with an overview of communications for this project, such as, how we are getting the word out, our website, the facebook page and trying to connect with the youth.

After a break for a meal the presentation continued. Then we were able to open the floor to questions and comments. Albert Joseph was the first to speak in his own words on how this has impacted our community with the power line and how our people worked very hard. Some other questions that were brought to the table:

Q: When will this vote take place?
A: We are targeting April 2, but it is not set yet.

Q: Why do you have to be 18 years or older to vote?
A: It's like any other vote; the policy is you have to be 18 years or older to vote.

Q: What happens if there's a ‘No’ vote?
A: If there is a 'No' vote in one community, they might be able to have a revote, depending on what the reason for the 'No' vote was.

Q: Are you coming back to the community?
A: Yes, we will be back to your community on February 27, 2011

After a session of presenting and feedback from the community members we closed the floor with a prayer from Albert Joseph.

-Lorrinda James


Reminder, please complete surveys before handing them in. If you do not add your age or fill in required information, we cannot enter it into the data.Thanks,

Crystal Narcisse
Communications Officer
Coppermoon/Stl'atl'imx Nation Hydro
Tel: 250-256-7523
Fax: 250-256-0445

Progress Update

This update was sent to all Facebook fans

*Community Meetings*

We're almost through the first round of information sessions. Be sure to check out the summaries and photos of all the meetings on our news feed:

The second round of meetings will start in February, and all the locations are being posted to the website, and flyers are going out to communities as we get nearer to the dates.

*Community Coordinators*

We're pleased to announce that the community coordinators are now in place. The coordinators work in each of the 11 communities and are in charge of getting information out to members. We're very excited about this!

*Toll Free Number*

Some people reported that the toll free number was a fax number. We found the problem - the wrong number was on the website! That is fixed. We also added a cell phone, so anyone who calls the toll free number will first go through to the office, and if there is no answer the call will go through to the cell. The plan is to have someone answer at all times, as much as possible.


The now goes through to a shared e-mail that we all have access to - so we'll be answering questions better (it used to forward to all our emails, now we all share one email).


We added pages for each community at

The website will be undergoing a HUGE UPGRADE over the next 4 weeks. We'll be making it even more visual, adding a lot more content, and make it even easier to navigate.

*Future meetings and plans*

The meetings have gone very well, and we've received a number of requests for more meetings. Here are the plans so far:

  • We will be adding a few extra urban meetings, and are still inviting interest for a potential meeting on Vancouver Island
  • We will be holding a youth-only meeting on Feb 19th in Lillooet and may have more in other locations
  • We will plan a conference call and/or online chats for members who live far from home, and can't make a meeting
  • Individual communities will be holding their own meetings to go over their settlements in detail, and to discuss ideas and plans for their future
  • The last few meetings have been *very* well attended, and future meetings will be better prepared for large turnouts

Thank you for your time, and thanks for your support as we widen our communication.


Jacob Beaton

CopperMoon Communications

Kamloops Meeting Summary

Our information session turned out a great success when 66 members from different communities that live in the area of Kamloops that came to the North Shore Community Centre. We started with an open house for members to sign in, retrieve their information and agreement packages.

The evening started with an introduction from Jacob Beaton along with other members of BC Hydro and CopperMoon's team. There was also 8 Chiefs and 1 Council member that were able to attend to show their support and knowledge of this information.

Jacob opened presentation with explanation of the slideshow and talked about this history of our people and how it had impacted some communities.

Raymond Phillips presented a breakdown of certainty provisions agreement with BC Hydro. He was also able to explain the opportunities for job contracts for St'at'imc and educational opportunities.

Halfway through the presentation, we had a break for a delicious dinner of roast, rice, potatoes, peas and carrots, salad and topped with a bun.

Gloria was able to say a prayer in her own language before dinner was served.

After everyone was well fed, they were able to ask lots of great questions. Chief Perry Redan from Sekw'el'w'as (Cayoose) was able to answer some concerns that some of the members have, with an explanation of how long the chief and council have been working on the St'at'imc Hydro Agreement.

Some concerns and questions that were brought up


  • Where is voting taking place? There will be polling stations in each of the communities, as well as the urban areas where St'at'imc reside.
  • Do the chiefs agree with this agreement? All the Chiefs of our communites fully support the agreement and are satisfied with what they are presenting to our people.
  • How is money divided into communities? The money is divided based on the amount of impacts to each community from BC Hydro operations. The most heavily impacted communities receive a larger portion.
  • What is interest rate? The calculations were projected with an interest rate of 5% which is conservative, and is based on investment rates, and not the rate you would receive at a bank.
  • What's the St'at'imc population? The total population is estimated at 6,000 with the voting members estimated between 3,000 and 4,000.
  • How many votes have to be in each community? In order for the agreement to go through, 50% plus one of the voters in each community must vote yes. This means everyone needs to vote, as every single vote counts.

After a long session of questions and answers, we encouraged members to inform other St'at'imc members to attend an information session.

Lorrinda James

Vancouver Meeting Summary

The Vancouver meeting was held at the Native Friendship Centre on Tuesday, January 25th. This was our second urban meeting and it was very well attended by over 60 interested St'át'imc members. The meeting was opened with a prayer and song from elder Tom Oleman from Tsalalh. After introductions and opening remarks from key negotiators Mike Leach (St'át'imc) and Tom Molloy (BC Hydro), we launched into the presentation with St'át'imc legal council Brenda Gaertner covering the summary of the agreements.

After the bulk of the overview presentation, we broke for dinner. Blessing for the meal were provided by Chief Art Adolph from Xaxlip. The meal was excellent, although there were so many people that there was a big food lineup, and space for eating was cramped. This was the second meeting where we received more people than expected, and future meetings in urban locations will be in bigger spaces and have more food!

After the meal, we reconvened to finish the info presentation. An overview of the projected value of the Trust was given, and Chiefs handed out projected settlement amounts to their members.

Some of the top questions during Q&A revolved around the benefits to all members, concern over the amount of time left to review the agreements before a vote, and having everyone's current addresses so we can get them information packages.

There were a wide range of questions that were answered by St'át'imc representatives. Toward the end of the meeting, the focus of questions and comments settled on how to be prepared for the jobs, contract opportunities, and how to use the settlement to best benefit members.

Chief Perry Redan gave a rousing speech about the importance of working together. He held up his community as an example, as they need help from other community members to respond to opportunities and move forward.

Overall the meeting went very well and ended on a positive note with many forward-looking and uplifting comments from St'át'imc members.

Jacob Beaton

Abbotsford Meeting Summary

The first urban, open-to-all-St'át'imc meeting was held in Abbotsford yesterday, monday January 25th. The meeting was opened with a prayer and an explanation of the agreement in the language from elder Clarke Smith. Clarke was critical of the agreement on Saturday but at this meeting spoke of the benefits, saying "the more I learn about this, the more I like it." After very brief introductions from the St'át'imc Chiefs, St'át'imc legal council, BC Hydro, and St'át'imc Nation Hydro, we dove into the presentation.

The presentation has been made much more visual compared to earlier versions, and flowed fairly smoothly. The introduction, which talks about the background and negotiations, lasted about 15 minutes. St'át'imc legal council Brenda Gaertner took over the presentation to give an overview of the agreements and presented for about 45 minutes.

The meeting grew very quickly over the course of the presentation, growing from about 40 people at 4:30 to over 70 people after 5:30! Our small-ish meeting room at the Super-8 Hotel was quickly bursting at the seams.

After a wonderful meal of rice, veggies, salad, fish and dessert, we reconvened for an open-floor session of questions and answers. Some of the biggest questions asked and answered were:

  • Does the agreement give permission to Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in the territory? 
    • No, this agreement does not give permission. Permission is given or not given by the communities nearest to the proposed IPPs. The St'át'imc Chiefs do not have a blanket "yes" or "no" policy to IPPs, they are examined on a case-to-case basis by the communities.
  • In the environmental part of the agreement, do the St'át'imc allow BC Hydro to use pesticides or herbicides to spray lines?
    • The St'át'imc Chiefs have created a blanket 0 tolerance for the use of any pesticides or herbicides in the territory. There are only a few very rare exceptions, such as allowing a small dosage in the boundary of a substation, where weeding is too dangerous for staff.
  • How will this benefit me, I live off reserve. I don't see anything in it for off reserve members?
    • The agreement doesn't specify benefits for on or off reserve members. An on-reserve member could say the same thing. It is completely up to each community on how they want to spend the funds to benefit their members. We are encouraging communities and members to have these discussions. All comments from the surveys are being forwarded to the appropriate leaders, so they can see what ALL members want. The purposes of the trust are so broad that the money can be used for almost anything that will benefit members. 

One of the most exciting aspects of the meeting was the number of youth who spoke up and had their voices heard! We announced the youth-only meeting that is planned for February, and discussed having more meetings.

Jacob Beaton

    Xa’xtsa Meeting Summary

    Doors opened at the Anglican Church in Mission at 10am on Saturday, January 22nd. Over 70 community members from Douglas (Xa'xtsa) and surrounding St'át'imc communities were in attendance to learn about the proposed Hydro Agreement. The meeting was opened with a prayer from elder Neil Phillips.

    The presentation began after opening remarks and introductions, and covered the history and overview of the agreement. An excellent meal of soup, salad and sandwiches was provided. After the meal, the floor was opened for questions, answers, and discussions. Some of the highlights of the discussion include:

    • What happens if there is a "No" vote? - The agreement won't be accepted. The money won't flow, water use plans won't happen, and the relationship agreement won't be implemented. It is very unlikely that a better agreement would be reached.
    • A young lady expressed that the agreement is pocket change compared to how much BC Hydro makes off the system. - The bridge river system in St'át'imc territory generates 5% of BC's energy. This agreement is the largest ever negotiated between BC and a First Nations group. The deal is worth much more than $200+ million over the years. It also leaves a lot on the table to be negotiated in the future, like revenue sharing and health impacts. In that context, it is a very good settlement. 
    • Does this settle with Indian Affairs? Many of the infringements happened because Indian Affairs (the federal government) gave permission to BC Electric/ BC Hydro.  - NO, this agreement is ONLY with BC Hydro and the Province of BC. The issues with Canada/ Indian Affairs remain, and are to be settled in the future, as part of a separate agreement. If Canada was a part of this agreement, it probably would have taken another 10 years to negotiate.
    • Do we give up any title or rights? - No, this is not a treaty, and no St'át'imc title or rights have been extinguished (given up) as part of this agreement.

    The discussion was very spirited and at times intense. One elder spoke up and was critical of how much information there is to absorb in a small period of time. He expressed concern that the agreement was being "rail roaded" and forced through. There were a few requests for better and more communication, and members also requested more meetings off reserve for those who are living away from home. Elders also requested bigger copies of the agreement that are easier to read.

    One elder spoke passionately about the need for St'át'imc to process their anger and pain, and to look at the agreement for what it is, and not let the past take over a good thing. He also admonished the government and BC Hydro for being "greedy" and not wanting to give First Nations people what they deserve. He also praised the work of the lawyers, and drew laughter from the crowd when he joked about how important lawyers are to the government. 

    Overall the meeting ended on a positive note, with many voices being heard and lots of questions being answered. 

    Jacob Beaton