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Special Message from Grand Chief Dr. Stewart Phillip – AGA Follow-Up Nation Recognition Message

July 23rd, 2019

Way’ Chiefs, Councillors and Membership,

Following the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) Annual General Assembly of July 17-18, 2019, it is
important to emphasize that the proposed Recognition Agreement process is one of de-colonization
where we as members of the Syilx Nation finally hold the power to decide how we are to govern our
collectively-held territorial lands and future.

Our Title and Rights are held collectively at the Nation level, not at the community Band level. It is
at the Nation level that we must work together to fully realize our Title and Rights.

• This Agreement is in no way a surrender of title, lands, jurisdiction or power.
• It does not give away anything or affect any of our rights.
• It does not change Indian Act reserve structure, local governance or status in any way.
• This is about rebuilding our power as Syilx People at the Syilx Nation level.
• This is not a treaty or a land claim. It does not set up any municipal level government or
corporation structure.
• This ensures the government does not ever deny our Title or Rights, including in court.
• This is an unprecedented Agreement and opportunity to ensure our power – Nation to Nation.
• It creates opportunities to rebuild our Syilx laws and responsibilities and our own Syilx
governance processes.
• This allows us to rebuild our own Syilx Nation governance and move beyond the ONA Society
Act process.

The Chiefs Executive Council has committed to Nation-wide community discussions specifically on
this Recognition Agreement. Syilx Nation members will be notified of Recognition discussion
forum schedules as soon as they can be confirmed. This will be in addition to the community-led
Syilx Nation Rising rebuilding engagement already underway.

Grand Chief Dr. Stewart Phillip

Special Message from GCSP – AGA Follow-up Nation Recognition Message