THE MAA-NULTH TREATY
The treaty will bring certainty with respect to each Maa-nulth First Nation’s rights to use, own and manage lands and resources throughout its claimed traditional territory. It will provide the Maa-nulth First Nations with modern governance tools to build strong and workable relationships with other governments, including federal, provincial and local governments.
On December 9th, 2006 Premier Gordon Campbell, the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and five Chiefs representing the Maa-nulth First Nations on Vancouver Island witnessed the joint initialling of the third Final Agreement reached under the British Columbia treaty process.
The Final Agreement includes a land package as well as funding in the form of a capital transfer, annual resource revenue sharing payments, and ongoing and time-limited funding for each Maa-nulth First Nation. The cost of the Final Agreement will be shared by the federal and provincial governments. The Final Agreement also includes self-government provisions and defines each Maa-nulth First Nation’s rights to resources such as wildlife, fish, timber and sub-surface minerals.
Although the treaty is not an answer to many challenges
that are faced in our communities, it does provide a “tool box”
for our people to make our own decisions on our own terms. The initialing
represents an end to the negotiations and begins a process that will
see the Maa-nulth communities fully inform its membership. Nothing is
finalized without membership approval.
Canada, British Columbia and the Maa-nulth First Nations expect that a treaty will resolve long-standing issues regarding undefined Aboriginal rights and title, and bring certainty and economic benefits not only to the Maa-nulth First Nations, but also to the entire region.
As it is each Nations commitment to answer every question asked by membership, a community approval process will be initiated by each Maa-nulth First Nation that will include: meetings, bulletins, and telephone calling as well as one on one briefings. Any voting member with questions can also access the website where detailed analysis of the treaty will be posted.
» The Stages of the Treaty