In 2002, the British Columbia Treaty Commission accepted Acho Dene Koe’s land-claim to territory in northeastern British Columbia. Given that legal certainty of the BC-NWT border was only established in the 1950s, the Nation’s claim to lands in British Columbia has always been an essential element of the negotiation process.
Traditionally, Acho Dene Koe members hunted and trapped along the Liard River corridor out of the villages of La Jollie Butte and Francois. Furthermore, a series of interconnected trails were used over the years by Acho Dene Koe members to access Maxhamish Lake, Coles Lake and the Banks of the Petitot River from the Liard River settlements. Today, numerous families continue to build and use cabins in these areas, carrying on Acho Dene Koe land use in the region.
Moving forward, Acho Dene Koe is in the process of developing a mandate with the Government of British Columbia to enter into formal negotiations with the province. Like the Final Agreement being negotiated in the Northwest Territories, Acho Dene Koe will be seeking a land, cash and governance settlement in British Columbia. It is anticipated that these negotiations will begin during the fall of 2014.