The Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw Nations Treaty Process was established to uphold the rights, title and laws through a negotiated agreement with Canada and British Columbia through the BC Treaty Commission Process.

WHY TREATY

Our ties to the homelands are fundamental to our existence as peoples.

TREATY PROCESS

Where we are in the treaty process

TREATY NEWS

Latest Treaty News and Updates

Why Treaty

The treaty negotiations process provides a framework for the three parties: Canada, BC and First Nations – to work towards the common goal of reconciliation, and building a new relationship, through constitutionally entrenched government-to-government-to-government understandings. Some of the major components integral to modern treaty making in British Columbia are:

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Aboriginal Rights

First Nations have for thousands of years sustained vibrant and rich cultural identities profoundly linked to BC’s land and waters.

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Self-Government

Self-determination is a core principal of self-government, the BC treaty negotiations process and is also reflected the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

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Land and Resources

Land has spiritual, economic and political significance for First Nations peoples. First Nations traditional territory—land occupied and used historically—is integral to their identity.

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Financial Autonomy

Treaties will bring certainty to land ownership and jurisdiction, funding and new investment. Through treaties, First Nations will be able to provide services appropriate to the unique culture.

2020

TREATY PROCESS

The Treaty STAGES

The six-stage treaty process is set out in the BC Claims Task Force Report of 1991 and incorporated in the tripartite British Columbia Treaty Commission Agreement of 1992. The process is voluntary and open to all First Nations in British Columbia.

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STAGE

Statement of Intent to Negotiate

A First Nation files with the Treaty Commission a statement of intent (SOI) to negotiate a treaty with Canada and BC.

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Readiness To Negotiate

The Treaty Commission must convene an initial meeting of the three parties within 45 days of accepting a statement of intent.

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STAGE

Negotiation of a Framework Agreement

The framework agreement is, in effect, the “table of contents” of a comprehensive treaty.

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STAGE

Negotiation of An Agreement In Principle

This is where substantive treaty negotiations begin. The parties examine in detail the elements outlined in their framework agreement.

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STAGE

Negotiation to Finalize a Treaty

The treaty formalizes the new relationship among the parties and embodies the agreements reached in the agreement in principle.

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Implementation of the Treaty

Long-term implementation plans need to be tailored to specific agreements. The plans to implement the treaty are put into effect or phased in as agreed.

What we've accomplished is just the beginning

Treaty MILESTONES

Our negotiations team continues to move toward and agreement that both benefits the nations current and future members.

Our Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Nations ancestors assert ownership to territories we were placed on by the Creator, U’mas Gigama. We have used, occupied and governed our traditional territories from the beginning. Despite a removal from our homelands in Smith Inlet, Seymour Inlet, and outlying Islands, by the federal government, we maintain our connections which are centred on the mountains, inlets, lands, waters and resources in our territories. Today we assert our Aboriginal Rights and Title over our entire territories. We, the GNN have traditional laws and teachings, “Nusəns sax gwigilas” as passed on for generations by ancestors and Elders and we have a responsibility to follow our laws and traditions of mayaxala and to take care of the lands, waters and resources in the territories. The GNN have the inherent right to self-government including right to continue our system of hereditary Chiefs and the pesa (potlatch). The GNN Treaty Process was established to uphold the rights, title and laws through a negotiated agreement with the Canada and BC through the BCTC Process.
The Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Nations Treaty Office was mandated by the Chief and Council in 1993 to commence treaty negotiations under the newly formed BCTC process. The six stage negotiation process requires community consultation to continue through each step. In 2000, through the Framework agreement, stage 3, the GNN was duly convened according to meeting protocols and transparency guidelines as set out and a quorum of assembled members at the Wakas Hall voted to continue with the future stages to achieve a negotiated agreement with Canada and BC. We are in the final stages of Stage 4, Agreement in Principle.

TREATY TEAM

Our Treaty Team is responsible for guiding the Nations through the six stages of treaty negotiation.

Paddy Walkus

Hereditary Chief

Willie Walkus

Hereditary Chief

Tom Henderson

Hereditary Chief

Henry Seaweed

Hereditary Chief

Eddie Charlie

Councillor

Sandra Charlie

Councillor

Thomas Jack

Councillor

Terry Walkus

Councillor

Crystal Walkus

Councillor

TREATY SUPPORT TEAM

Colleen Hemphill

Chief Negotiator

Murray Browne

Legal and Negotiations Advisor

David Scott

GIS/Mapping

Linda Dorricott

Research Support

Sharlene Frank

Policy Support

Jane McCall Woods

Negotiations Support

Linda Paul

 Meeting/Event Logistics Support

Contact Us

Phone

Phone: 250-949-8343 | Cell: 250-949-1485 | Fax: 250-949-7402

Address

Box 110, Port Hardy, B.C.V0N 2P0

EMAIL

Treaty@gwanaknations.ca