The Treaty Commission is the independent funding authority for treaty negotiations in BC, as recommended in the Task Force Report and set out in the BCTC Agreement and associated legislation.
The role of the BCTC is to “ensure that the process is fair and impartial, that all parties have sufficient resources to do the job, and that the parties work effectively to reach agreements” [Task Force Report, p. 35]. The allocation of negotiation support funding to First Nations assists with this principle. First Nations have the choice of accepting contribution funding or taking any portion of the loans allocated.
Allocations are made up of a maximum of 80% loans advanced by Canada, and a minimum of 20% non-repayable contribution funding. Typically for every $100 of negotiation support funding allocated, $80 is a loan from Canada, $12 is a contribution from Canada, and $8 is a contribution from BC.
Loan advances to a First Nation must end at least 30 days prior to the three Parties signing the ﬁnal agreement. However, contribution funding is available until the effective date of a treaty.
Since negotiations began in May 1993, the Treaty Commission has allocated approximately $682 million in negotiation support funding to 60 First Nations. Approximately $534 million of that funding is loans and $148 million is contributions.
At March 31, 2016, outstanding negotiation loans totaled approximately $523 million [excluding accrued interest]. The Tsawwassen First Nation, the ﬁve Maa-nulth First Nations, and Tla’amin Nation have begun to repay their negotiation loans.
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