Five B.C. First Nations reach settlement with the provincial and federal governments on Treaty Land Entitlement claims

Kitsumkalum First Nation, the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia initial the draft Kitsumkalum Treaty and take important step to renew Nation-to Nation relationship

June 25, 2024 at 1:28 pm  Federal, Politics

Terrace, British Columbia, June 25, 2024 – Today, Chief Councillor Don Roberts of the Kitsumkalum First Nation; the Honourable Gary Anandasangaree, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations; and the Honourable Murray Rankin, British Columbia Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, marked a significant milestone toward renewing their Nation-to-Nation relationship. The Chief Negotiators of all three parties, witnessed by Chief Councillor Roberts, Minister Anandasangaree and Minister Rankin, have initialled the draft Kitsumkalum Treaty, demonstrating progress towards Kitsumkalum implementing their right to self-determination and realizing their vision of a better future for their communities.

The initialling of this Kitsumkalum Treaty marks a pivotal step forward in advancing the Kitsumkalum Treaty negotiation process. Initialling marks an important milestone in the Treaty journey, as it signals the conclusion of substantive negotiations and readiness for the ratification process. Once finalized, the Kitsumkalum Treaty will undergo a ratification process through a Kitsumkalum membership vote, and then through federal and provincial legislation. If successfully ratified by all parties, the Treaty will constitutionally recognize Kitsumkalum First Nation’s Treaty rights to governance, harvesting, land ownership, resource management, and other rights and benefits.

In recent years, there have been significant and foundational shifts in policy and approach that have re-energized the Treaty negotiations process in B.C., including the finalization of the Recognition and Reconciliation of Rights Policy for Treaty Negotiations in 2019. These positive shifts reflect new approaches to negotiation in line with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Canada’s United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, and the B.C. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.

To get to this milestone, engagement activities have taken place throughout the many years of negotiations. Engaging and informing First Nation members, local governments, residents, business organizations, interest holders and other stakeholders, and the public is an important aspect of Treaty and reconciliation negotiations and the ratification process.

The close of negotiations signifies the renewal of the Nation-to-Nation relationship between the Government of Canada, the Government of British Columbia and Kitsumkalum First Nation. If ratified, the Treaty would facilitate the implementation of Kitsumkalum’s right to self-determination, socio-economic development, and their vision for a better future for their community members. The parties look forward to finalizing this important work and to seeing the positive change this historic agreement will bring to the members of Kitsumkalum First Nation.

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