The Challenge

In the Spring of 2002, the BC Liberal Party issued a referendum proposing eight principles that eligible BC voters were asked to either support or oppose. Results would determine whether or not the provincial government would be compelled to adopt the principle when taking part in treaty negotiations. Ballot phrasing was dangerously flawed, creating confusion for voters about which premise their answers would support. One was written such that an affirmative response was virtually guaranteed; another implied changes to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which cannot be altered by provincial governments. Because there was no clear indication of the level of support required for any one principle to take effect, or how the government would implement the decision, the resulting impact of the referendum on treaty negotiations was unclear.
Writing and editing

The Cyberscribe Solution

Chief Judith Sayers, an accomplished lawyer and elected representative of the Hupacasath, was one of many aboriginal leaders who felt the referendum ballot demanded deeper analysis and engaged Cyberscribe to review her report for clarity, completeness and impact. Offering unbiased advice regarding the clarity of her report’s message, Cyberscribe was honoured to lend its writing and editing expertise in support of improving the treaty process for British Columbia First Nations.

The Client

Hupacasath is a First Nations government and a member of the 14-nation Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. For thousands of years, the Hupacasath people have owned, used and occupied their traditional territory, which engulfs the whole Alberni Valley on Vancouver Island. The Hupacasath comrpise three distinct tribes: the Muh-uulth-aht, Kleh-koot-aht and Cuu-ma-as-aht (Ahahswinis), with a population of approximately 250 members.