Political negotiation is the most constructive and practical means to address the complex issues relating to Aboriginal rights and title.
Under the BC treaty negotiatons process, each First Nation, Canada and BC may introduce any issue at the negotiation table that it views as significant to the new relationship.
Although each treaty negotiation is unique, comprehensive treaties will address:
- First Nations government structures and related financial arrangements
- Jurisdiction and ownership of lands, waters and resources
- Cash settlements
Treaties will also establish processes for amendment and resolving disputes.
Related Policies and Resources
In September 2019, the Principals of the BC treaty negotiations process endorsed the Recognition and Reconciliation of Rights Policy for Treaty Negotiations in British Columbia, which was co-developed by the First Nations Summit, Canada, and British Columbia. This came after the Principals undertook a comprehensive and collaborative review of the gaps in existing policies. This new treaty negotiations policy explicitly details how negotiations will be grounded in the recognition of Indigenous rights and ownership of their lands and resources. This new policy is ground-breaking: it is the first tripartite public policy for the recognition and protections of Indigenous rights in British Columbia. Prominent commitments include rights recognition, nonextinguishment, implementing the UN Declaration, support for Indigenous self-determination, and ensuring treaties are flexible, living agreements.
A successful fiscal relationship between Canada and Indigenous governments is crucial to self determination. In August 2019 it was announced Canada developed in partnership with First Nations a new fiscal policy, Canada's Collaborative Self-Government Fiscal Policy to better support Indigenous self-government. This fiscal policy provides self-governing Indigenous governments with sufficient, predictable and sustained funding required to fulfill responsibilities and govern effectively. It strengthens government-to- government partnerships and supports achieving equity in socio-economic outcomes and closing gaps in infrastructure, housing and overall well-being of Indigenous people. The goal of this new arrangement is to support landbased stewardship, community health initiatives, social programs, and build governance capacity to effectively serve communities. The increased fiscal resources that will come with selfgovernment are significant, and in some cases First Nations in treaty negotiations could see a three to four fold increase in fiscal financing.