Gathering to Celebrate Modern Treaties: Reflecting on 30th Anniversary of the BC Treaty Commission Agreement
September 21, 2022
Today, representatives from the First Nations Summit, the Government of British Columbia (BC), and the Government of Canada (Canada) will join First Nations from across the province to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the signing of the BC Treaty Commission Agreement (“BCTC Agreement”). In the three decades since the signing of the BCTC Agreement, seven Modern Treaties have come into effect through the made-in-BC treaty negotiations process: the Maa-nulth Treaty (representing Huu-ay-aht, Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’, Toquaht, Uchucklesaht, and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ First Nations), the Tla’amin Treaty, and the Tsawwassen Treaty. The Treaty Commission also celebrates and recognizes the Nisga’a Treaty, which was negotiated prior to BC treaty process framework.
History was made in this province, and continues to be written. The BCTC Agreement was the result of decades of significant work on behalf of First Nations, BC, and Canada across the province. Following the Report of the BC Claims Task Force, the First Nations Summit, BC and Canada agreed on 19 key recommendations from the report, including the need for the establishment of the BC Treaty Commission to facilitate negotiation of treaties throughout the province. Presented as a meaningful opportunity to address historic inequities, outline the sharing of jurisdiction, and a path towards reconciliation, the treaty negotiations process began.
“We are here because of tremendous work of leaders who came before us – individuals who sacrificed, persevered and believed in better outcomes for future generations. It was – and is – because of their tireless work that we are able to come together, and celebrate on these achievements,” said Chief Commissioner Celeste Haldane. Tremendous
The commemoration of this historic moment is not only a way to celebrate the past, but also a reminder of what the future holds. “There are a number of First Nations engaged in advanced negotiations,” explained Chief Commissioner Haldane. “These Nations, along with the Governments of BC and Canada, are on the verge of making history. There have been substantial policy shifts through the UN Declaration, Rights Recognition Policy, loan forgiveness and the new s. 87 tax fiscal policy which are creating momentum. We must not lose sight of the resources and commitment it will take to reach Treaties. As Keepers of the Process the Treaty Commission will continue to support the Parties to advance rights recognition and reconciliation in BC.”
- The Modern Treaty Alliance represents the interests of the 8 Modern Treaty Nations in BC.
- In 1991, the BC Claims Task Force released its 19 recommendations. One of these recommendations was the creation of the BC Treaty Commission (Recommendation 3).
- In 1992, the Principals to negotiations – the First Nations Summit, the Government of BC, and the Government of Canada – signed the BC Treaty Commission Agreement.
- The first Treaty to come into effect through the treaty negotiations process was the Tsawwassen Treaty (2009), followed by the Maa-nulth Treaty (2011), and the Tla’amin Treaty (2016). The Nisga’a Treaty, the first Modern Treaty in British Columbia, was negotiated prior to the creation of the treaty negotiations process but came into effect in 2000.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Sashia Leung / Director of Communications & International Relations / [email protected]
About the BC Treaty Commission
The Treaty Commission is the independent body responsible for overseeing treaty negotiations among the governments of Canada, BC and First Nations in BC. It has three roles: facilitation, funding, and public information and education.