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

Government of Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation sign Memorandum of Understanding to address community priorities and advance reconciliation

June 28, 2024 at 6:20 pm  Federal, Politics

June 27, 2024 — Tla-o-qui-aht Ha-Houlthee/Tofino, British Columbia

Today, Chief Councillor Elmer Frank of Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation; the Honourable Gary Anandasangaree, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations; and representatives from Parks Canada on behalf of the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced the signing of the Hisiikcumyin Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that outlines collaborative efforts and a path forward between the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and the Government of Canada to address community priorities and advance reconciliation.

The MOU aims to:

  • build trust between the Parties
  • set a path forward for ongoing discussions and negotiations
  • identify key priorities for negotiation
  • establish a clear process for co-developing binding agreements

Our path to reaching this agreement dates back more than 20 years to 2003 and the initial signing of an agreement between the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and the Government of Canada. In that agreement, Canada agreed to transfer two parcels of land. Subsequently, 86 hectares of land from Pacific Rim National Park Reserve were transferred, and the community of Ty-Histanis [ta-yus-taa-nis] was created. But many years later, the transfer of a second parcel of land remained unfulfilled, and the signing of today’s MOU charts a way forward to honouring our commitment.

The MOU will enable collaboration between Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and the Government of Canada on key priorities, including economic development opportunities, language preservation and revitalization, addressing housing and infrastructure needs, self-governance, the recognition and implementation of Tla-o-qui-aht’s title and rights, as well as greater opportunities for shared benefit, management and stewardship of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation envisions a community where respect, collaboration and celebration are integral to daily life. Rooted in the belief that “we are all one” (His-shuk-nish-tsa-waak), Tla-o-qui-aht’s mission focuses on restoring and promoting traditional values while enhancing services for all members. Guided by strong administration and governance that honours their Ha’wiih (Hereditary Chiefs) and natural laws, the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation aims for a harmonious and prosperous future.

The co-developed MOU will guide rights-based discussions, help renew the Nation-to-Nation relationship and advance the First Nation’s vision for self-determination. This agreement exemplifies Canada’s ongoing work to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act Action Plan.

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