B.C. and Modern Treaty Nations renew implementation commitment
The Alliance of BC Modern Treaty Nations (Alliance) and the Province have co-developed a Shared Priorities Framework to advance Treaty implementation in British Columbia.
The first of its kind in British Columbia, the framework renews a commitment to effective implementation of Modern Treaties in B.C. Modern Treaties are a critically important pathway to meaningful reconciliation that help support strong, healthy, thriving communities that benefit people today and for generations to come. This framework charts a path for the Alliance and the Province to work together on a wide range of B.C.-specific Treaty implementation issues that require collaborative action and honour the special relationship held through these agreements.
“The Shared Priorities Framework is B.C.’s commitment to Modern Treaty Nations to create and strengthen relationships that are dynamic, evolving and improving over time,” said Premier John Horgan. “Treaties are important living documents that provide a foundation for renewed relationships and certainty for all First Nations in the Treaty process. Upholding these sacred agreements through a whole-of-government approach, with engagement and support from all ministries, is paramount in meeting our shared commitments.”
Advancing bilateral Treaty implementation, the framework aims to increase trust between government and Treaty Nations, improve Treaty outcomes and promote Treaties as a tangible action to achieve reconciliation and create prosperity for all British Columbians.
“Modern Treaties create the blueprint for Indigenous self-governance and effective government-to-government relationships. However, you can’t live in a blueprint. You still need to build the house, and then you need to maintain it and expand it as the family grows. That’s why Treaty implementation is always a work in progress – it requires ongoing efforts and attention. We are pleased with the renewed commitment to Treaty implementation outlined in the Shared Priorities Framework and we look forward to continuing this important reconciliation work with the Province of B.C., ” said taayii ḥaʔw̓ił Anne Mack, Toquaht Nation, on behalf of the Alliance of BC Modern Treaty Nations.
The Alliance and Province share three priorities in the framework:
- establish fiscal arrangements to fulfil Treaty Rights and obligations,
- establish meaningful participation of Modern Treaty Nations in B.C.’s legislative and policy initiatives, and
- establish organizational and policy changes in the BC Public Service to advance a whole-of-government approach to Treaty implementation.
At the May 24, 2022, Premier’s Forum with the Alliance of BC Modern Treaty Nations, leadership of the eight Modern Treaty Nations, the Premier and cabinet members met to discuss the recently signed framework and other Treaty-related topics. This forum is an important venue for leaders to learn from each other and to build on relationships and hold each other to account on shared priorities. The forum does not replace the important work and relationships that exist between the Province and the individual Modern Treaty Nations.
Murray Rankin, Minster of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation –
“Treaties recognize the inherent rights of Indigenous Peoples and enable them to rebuild their communities and governments on their own terms. To uphold our Treaties with the intent they were written, we must be intentional about how we implement them and grow our government-to-government relationships through collaborative action. This framework gives us the vision to do just that.”
President Charles McCarthy, Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ Government –
“I am confident the shared priority framework, established by the Alliance and the Province, will further enhance government-to-government relations for Modern Treaty Nations in B.C. This is a working step to strengthen Indigenous rights in the path towards reconciliation.”
Elected Council Member Brad Johnson, Huu-ay-aht First Nations –
“Our Treaty, and our government-to-government relationship, is living, dynamic and ever-evolving. The shared priorities framework is a renewal of our commitment, inspired collaboration, and meaningful communication. I am looking forward to seeing the creative and collaborative ways we will work together to realize these shared priorities.”
- The Alliance was formed in July 2018 by Tla’amin Nation, Tsawwassen First Nation and the Maa-nulth Treaty Nations (Huu-ay-aht First Nations, Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Chek’tles7et’h’ First Nations, Toquaht Nation, Uchucklesaht Tribe and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ Government). Nisg̱a’a Nation joined the Alliance in November 2019.
- The Alliance is a collective of the eight First Nations implementing Modern Treaties in B.C. Seven of those Treaties were negotiated under the BC Treaty Commission process, while the Nisga’a Treaty was negotiated prior to the creation of the BC Treaty Commission.
- The framework is the first agreement between the Province and the Alliance as a collective and was signed in March 2022.
Shared Priorities Framework:
Alliance of B.C. Modern Treaty Nations: https://moderntreatyalliancebc.ca/
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