Statement of Intent (SOI) with Kwakiutl Laich-Kwil-Tach Nations Treaty Society (KLNTS), which included the Tlowitsis
Readiness Documents Submitted to BC Treaty Commission
Agreement in Principle negotiations as part of the KLNTS
- Tlowitsis Leaves KLNTS
- New SOI Submitted
- Framework Agreement Signed between Tlowitsis, Canada and BC
- Set out topics and processes for Agreement in Principle negotiations
Agreement in Principle Negotiations between Tlowitsis, Canada and BC
Why has this taken so long?
Treaty negotiations are complex and time-consuming, particularly Agreement in Principle negotiations. Forty-two First Nations in BC, including the Tlowitsis, are currently in Stage 4 negotiatoins at this time. Getting to treaty is a process, not an event, and takes a lot of political will on all sides: Canada, BC and the First Nations.
Over the years there have been many delays and lags in the process due to the politics of the other governments. First Nations have been to court and won many important cases since the treaty started, but at the end of the day, we still need to negotiate. It is also true that the governments and the general public have learned a lot by being part of these negotiations. Reconciliation will not happen overnight, and so we’re taking it one day at a time.
Where are treaty negotiations at in 2018?
We’re currently in Stage 4 of a six-stage process for negotiating the treaty. Currently, BC and Canada are undertaking advanced lands analysis of the treaty settlement lands identified by Tlowitsis over the past years. Most of the chapter language in the Agreement in Principle has been completed. Once the Tlowitsis, BC and Canada sign the Agreement in Principle, we’ll move on to Stage 5 of negotiations to finalize a treaty.
We’re currently working towards an agreement amongst the Parties (Tlowitsis, Canada and BC) on what chapters of the Treaty will be left for Stage 5 negotiations.
We have also contracted a communications consultant to assist with community consultations and communications, and support the Tlowitsis in getting detailed information to citizens on treaty negotiations. We’ve also hired an Administrative Assistant in the office in Campbell River, to assist with communications and general treaty related responsibilities.
What happens next?
In the spring of 2019, we hope to be able to come to agreement with Canada and BC on an Agreement in Principle that will form the basis of a treaty. Our strategy at the negotiation table is to focus on priority lands and land and cash proposals from Canada and BC that will give us enough comfort to proceed to Stage 5 negotiations.
Tlowitsis, Canada and BC will continue to negotiate around all the lands identified by Tlowitsis for treaty settlement. It is important to remember that an Agreement in Principle is not a legally binding document. Rather, it is an agreement amongst the Parties that we have confidence and enough good faith in each other to go forward and finalize the negotiations for a treaty.
In Stage 5, we will be negotiating very important pieces of the treaty: fiscal relations, fisheries, resource revenue sharing, access to timber resources, and water. Also during Stage 5 there is the opportunity to negotiate ‘Incremental Treaty Agreements’ which give early access to lands in fee simple, which will be converted to Treaty Settlement Lands once a treaty is finalized. These incremental agreements are designed to provide economic and other benefits to First Nations ahead of treaty and to demonstrate commitment to the new relationship treaties are about.