January 12, 2018 marks another historical event for the
VICTORIA – British Columbia and the five Maa-nulth First Nations are strengthening and affirming their treaty partnership through a new government-to-government agreement.
This unique agreement was signed today by the Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, and leaders of the Maa-nulth First Nations.
The government-to-government agreement between B.C. and the Maa-nulth First Nations creates regular forums to discuss, prioritize and collaborate on topics of mutual interest, including land, resource management, and treaty implementation issues.
“This agreement continues the great, innovative work happening through the Maa-nulth treaty. It outlines ways we can work better together, which is good news not only for Maa-nulth First Nations, but also their neighbouring communities,” said Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation and MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim. “Ownership and jurisdiction over their treaty lands and resources is allowing each of the Maa-nulth First Nations to grow and develop their economies and societies in the manner they determine best. Treaties are a powerful foundation, but it takes respectful, ongoing government-to-government relationships to make them effective.”
Maa-nulth First Nations are important contributors to the economic and cultural life of the west coast of Vancouver Island, and the agreement is another avenue to explore opportunities and ideas. Developing practical and flexible ways to address natural resource, land and treaty issues benefits Maa-nulth citizens, industry and the greater region.
“Today’s monumental signing that celebrates the government-to-government relationship the Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ Government has with the Provincial Government of B.C. is a positive step to implement the Maa-nulth Treaty. Collectively, we need to revitalize our relationship and work collaboratively on common issues and concerns,” said Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ Government President Les Doiron. “This is an added advantage of a modern treaty government’s place in B.C. and a relationship that needs to be cultivated for all our citizens.”
“Signing the Maa-nulth Treaty was an important step for our Nations, but it is essential that we continue to work hard to make the most of the opportunities the treaty offers,” said Huu-ay-aht Chief Councillor Robert J. Dennis Sr. “By continuing to build on our relationship with the Province, we show what can be accomplished with true reconciliation.”
“We view this agreement as one more step towards fulfilling the promise that treaty has created for our people,” said Uchucklesaht Tribe Chief Councillor Charlie Cootes. “We look
forward to strengthening our relationship with British Columbia through shared recognition and application of mutual respect in our dealings. Our goal, like B.C.’s, is cooperation between our governments to our shared advantage and the benefits to both.”
“This is an important agreement which will facilitate the implementation of our treaty and help guide us in implementing our Nations’ strategies for moving forward by developing and sustaining a government-to-government relationship with B.C., an essential step in reconciliation.” said Toquaht Nation tyee ha’wilth Anne Mack.
“The Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ First Nations are pleased to enter into this Maa-nulth and British Columbia government-to-government forum agreement,” said Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ First Nations Legislative Chief Peter Hanson. “It completes the suite of venues to achieve orderly, collaborative and respectful implementation of the Maa-nulth Treaty in partnership with British Columbia. We truly look forward to our new relationship.”
The agreement supports improved co-ordination of natural resource development and land management across treaty land and adjacent Crown lands, as well as addressing issues where Provincial jurisdiction applies on treaty land, such as environmental protection, highways, wildlife, or foreshore marine areas.
It also provides B.C. and Maa-nulth First Nations regular forums to explore new economic development opportunities, and to address issues related to health, education and social development.
For official press release: Maa-nulth strengthen treaty relationship