"Overlapping claims" to territory confronting treaty-making in British Columbia: Causes and implications

Christopher Turner, Gail Fondahl

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    More than 20 years after treaty-making recommenced in British Columbia, only four treaties have been fully ratified. All but one of these treaties provoked legal challenge due to overlapping claims. The British Columbia Treaty Commission has identified overlapping claims as a critical challenge to finalizing negotiated agreements. Through a study of several cases, we discuss the causes and implications of such contestations. We underscore the role of diverse and dynamic Indigenous socio-spatial identities of varying temporal depth. We argue the need for change to the current approach to treaty negotiation that may privilege some indigenous groups to the detriment of others, and invites indigenous groups fighting among themselves and in conventional courts for recognition of territorial jurisdiction. By offering a detailed consideration of causes and implications of the "overlap problem," we hope to provide a foundation for considering alternative approaches that provide more just solutions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)474-488
    Number of pages15
    JournalCanadian Geographer
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2015 Dec 1


    • British Columbia
    • First Nations
    • Overlapping claims
    • territory
    • treaty negotiation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Earth-Surface Processes


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