The Laichwiltach Elders and Youth group danced at a BC Treaty Commission open house held in Campbell River in March, 2018. Photo by Jocelyn Doll/Campbell River Mirror

Two Campbell River First Nations advance to final stage of treaty negotiation

The Campbell River-based Wei Wai Kum and Kwiakah First Nations have signed a new agreement with the governments of Canada and British Columbia that will advance reconciliation and treaty negotiations to the fifth of six treaty negotiation stages.

Chief Chris Roberts, Wei Wai Kum First Nation; Chief Steven Dick, Kwiakah First Nation; Carolyn Bennett, federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations; and Scott Fraser, B.C.’s Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation; signed the Wei Wai Kum First Nation/Kwiakah First Nation Transition to Stage 5 and Treaty Revitalization Agreement.

“Today marks an important milestone on the path of reconciliation with the Wei Wai Kum and Kwiakah,” Scott Fraser, B.C.’s Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation said in a press release. “Our government is committed to advancing reconciliation with Indigenous partners through treaties, and other agreements, which are based on lasting government-to-government relationships and recognition of the inherent rights of Indigenous peoples. This new approach to treaty making will create agreements that can evolve over time and respect the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

The agreement advances treaty negotiations to the final stage and guides the development of an approach that recognizes the rights of Wei Wai Kum and Kwiakah First Nations.

This new strategy explicitly recognizes that Aboriginal rights are inherent and will not be extinguished or surrendered. It seeks to build a collaborative government-to-government relationship that is flexible and able to adapt to changing circumstances over time.

“It has been a long journey to reach the milestone of Stage 5 of the B.C. treaty process, and is the result of hard work by all involved,” Wei Wai Kum First Nation Chief Chris Roberts, said. “We appreciate the commitment the governments of Canada and B.C. have made to recognize Wei Wai Kum Nation’s rights as defined under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as we continue on this path to achieving true reconciliation and management over our traditional territory.”

Under this approach to treaty-making, key elements such as self-government, land ownership and stewardship, and law-making authorities will be written into a constitutionally-protected core treaty. Administrative and policy matters may be addressed through supplementary agreements that can be more easily amended, allowing for the government-to-government relationship to evolve as laws, policies and interests change. This approach makes room for a treaty relationship that is flexible and able to adapt over time.

“Kwiakah First Nation is pleased to be able to take this important step in the treaty process,” Chief Steven Dick, Kwiakah First Nation, said. “In the spirit of reconciliation, we look forward to working with both the federal and provincial governments to achieve a treaty that will respect the rights and title of Kwiakah Citizens.”

Working as partners and developing new innovative approaches to government-to-government agreements is key to achieving reconciliation and supporting healthy and prosperous Indigenous communities in Canada.

“Working collaboratively with the Wei Wai Kum and Kwiakah First Nations to develop new approaches to advance treaty negotiations is key to reconciliation and supporting their vision of self-determination. This agreement demonstrates that the Government of Canada is committed to reconciliation with First Nations through the affirmation of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership,” said Carolyn Bennett, federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations.

Stage 5 of the treaty process is labelled “Negotiation to Finalize a Treaty” and comes after Stage 4 which completes an agreement in principle. In Stage 5, the treaty formalizes the new relationship among the parties and embodies the agreements reached in the agreement in principle. Technical and legal issues are resolved at this stage. A treaty is a unique constitutional instrument to be signed and formally ratified at the conclusion of Stage 5. Stage 6 sees the implementation of the treaty.

Learn More:

Wei Wai Kum First Nation/Kwiakah First Nation Transition to Stage 5 and Treaty Revitalization Agreement: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/natural-resource-stewardship/consulting-with-first-nations/first-nations-negotiations/first-nations-a-z-listing/we-wai-kum-nation-campbell-river-indian-band

Wei Wai Kum First Nation: https://weiwaikum.ca/

Kwiakah First Nation: http://www.kwiakah.com/

BC Treaty Commission: http://www.bctreaty.ca/

RELATED: BC Treaty Commission hosts open house in Campbell River

RELATED: First Nations treaties play a big role in reconciliation


@AlstrT
editor@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

UVic ranks the worst financial scandals in Canadian politics

The University of Victoria finds Canadians are most bothered by financial scandals.

Two killed after bus crashes taking university students to Bamfield

Crash happened Friday night around 10 p.m., RCMP say

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Vancouver Island goalie at training camp with Montreal Canadiens

Qualicum Beach’s LaCouvee angling for spot with AHL Laval squad

‘Firefighting is not a job for everyone’: Island fire chiefs

Sacrifices of Canadian fire crews honoured on Firefighters’ National Memorial Day

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

‘A real shame’: B.C. MLA says factors behind Tolko mill closing should have been caught

Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson said the industry is in bad shape across the province

VIDEO: Seniors at B.C. assisted living facility shocked by Oct. 1 eviction notice

Building owners terminate lease for McGuire Lake Congregate Living in Salmon Arm

‘How does it even happen?’: Bear locks itself inside vehicle in Port Moody

It was apparent the suspect had gained entry with his ‘bear’ hands

Boy, 12, in critical condition after B.C. hit-and-run

One of two Friday hit-and-runs the driver is believed to be part of, Langley police say

Most Read