New Approach to Indigenous Treaty-Making in BC

On September 4, 2019, Canada, British Columbia and the First Nations Summit jointly announced a new policy for treaty negotiations in BC. The policy bases treaty negotiations on the recognition of Indigenous rights, identifying the right to self-determination as the “starting point of negotiations”.1 Treaties negotiated under the new policy will provide for recognition and continuation of Indigenous rights, without those rights being modified, surrendered or extinguished when a treaty is signed. It incorporates principles from the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action. This policy, along with the federal government's move to forgive or reimburse First Nations about $1.4 billion in treaty loans, aims to restore trust in the treaty negotiation process.

BC’s treaty negotiations framework and the BC Treaty Commission were established in 1992. Since then, three treaties have been concluded with seven BC Nations.

The Union of BC Indian Chiefs has criticized the policy, expressing concerns that it fails to adequately address territory overlaps with Nations who are not in the treaty process. The First Nations Summit political executive has announced that a forum is in the works for 2020 to discuss solutions to these issues.

Hear about the policy from First Nations Summit Political Executive member Cheryl Casimer and learn more about Indigenous treaties and self-government topics by attending PBLI’s upcoming program “Treaties and Self-Government” on September 19th and 20th, 2019. Celebrate PBLI’s 30th anniversary with a 30% discount off the registration fee by quoting promo code “PBLI30” when you register.

  1. Recognition and Reconciliation of Rights Policy for Treaty Negotiations in British Columbia, s 36, https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/british-columbians-our-governments/indigenous-people/aboriginal-peoples-documents/recognition_and_reconciliation_of_rights_policy_for_treaty_negotiations_in_bc_aug_28_002.pdf.

Posted on November 13, 2019  |  Comments (0)


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