Treaty Education: BCTC info booths at two local government and business conferences
Public education on treaty negotiations is key to long-term reconciliation and building civic support for Indigenous self-governance and rights recognition. The Treaty Commission provides information on negotiations through publications, presentations, social media, and conversations with the public.
This fall, the Treaty Commission engaged with local government and business leaders through two large conference trade shows with attendees from across BC. Educating the public on its role in supporting and understanding treaty negotiations is an important part of the Treaty Commission’s mandate. One of the most effective ways to provide information and answer complicated questions is through in-person conversations, such as conferences and trade shows.
Union of British Columbian Municipalities (UBCM) Convention
UBCM represents and serves all local government in BC, providing a collective voice for policymaking and advocacy. The UBCM Convention is an opportunity for the Treaty Commission to engage with leadership from across the province. 2019’s conference was held from Sept 23 to 27 at the Vancouver Convention Centre and marked the third time attending UBCM’s biennial Vancouver convention where Commissioners and staff met dozens of individuals representing First Nation and local governments, regional districts, industry, and businesses.
The Treaty Commission supports First Nations that want to engage with local government. Through the BC negotiating teams, the treaty negotiations process encourages local government to be directly engaged in modern treaty negotiations for agreements implemented within the region. First Nations have the ability to become regional district board members after Treaty Effective Date. BCTC encourages regional districts to build relationships with the local First Nations in the BC treaty negotiations process prior to Effective Date and has a 10-step guide for reconciliation for local government. It is important that local government do the work now to support negotiations, understand how treaty will influence the region, and support FNs in joining the board if the Nation chooses.
Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA) Summit
The Treaty Commission also attended VIEA’s 13th Anniversary State of the Island Economic Summit on October 23 & 24 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo. The two-day trade show provided the opportunity to meet with a variety of stakeholders, including First Nations, local government, businesses, and students. We were pleased to have a carving by local Snuneymuxw artist, Joel Good, as our business card draw prize.
Year after year, VIEA delegates remain some of the most engaged conference participants that we meet. The benefits treaties bring to Vancouver Island are already well known, but many residents and leaders have questions about rights recognition and working with First Nations.
The five Maa-nulth First Nations governments have been implementing their treaties since 2011 and are active members of regional districts on the Island. Looking to the future, seven First Nations with traditional territory on Vancouver Island are in advanced stages of treaty negotiations, collectively representing 16 Indian Act bands.
We look forward to continuing to attend these and other conferences to share information and answer questions. Since 2015, we have been actively engaged with both UBCM and VIEA, and are beginning to look at opportunities to work collaboratively for future public enagagements.
VIEA's 2019 State of the Island Economic Report: http://ow.ly/2lYK30pLM9x