A key part of the BC Jobs Plan is government's commitment to improving opportunities and resources for First Nations to participate in resource activity in their traditional territory. Non-treaty agreements improve economic certainty and bring benefits more quickly to First Nation communities.
B.C.'s non-treaty agreements underscore an innovative approach that supports economic growth and job creation - not only for the First Nations involved, but for neighbouring communities. Strengthening government's relationships with First Nations creates benefits for all British Columbians.
Under the BC Jobs Plan, the B.C. government committed to reach 10 non-treaty agreements with First Nations by 2015. The Province fulfilled this commitment two years early, in January 2013.
Non-treaty agreements include: strategic engagement agreements; reconciliation agreements; and forestry and major project revenue-sharing agreements.
Strategic Engagement Agreements (SEAs)
Strategic engagement agreements are intended to encourage a positive and respectful government-to-government relationship with First Nations; strengthen B.C.'s investment climate; and establish mutually agreed upon procedures for consultation and accommodation. Entering into SEAs with First Nations is one of the many approaches being used by government to support the New Relationship and Transformative Change Accord objectives.
First Nations who have negotiated SEAs include: Tahltan Nation; Kaska Dena Council; Taku River Tlingit First Nation; Tsilhqot'in National Government; Ktunaxa Nation and Nanwakolas First Nations.
The Province has completed several agreements with First Nations in B.C. that create the opportunity for comprehensive and lasting reconciliation. At the heart of some of these agreements are also strategic engagement agreements. These agreements are with the Musqueam Indian Band, Coastal First Nations, Haida Nation, Nanwakolas First Nations, Gitanyow Nation and Tseycum First Nation. British Columbia expects to announce another reconciliation agreement with Snuneymuxw First Nation in the near future.
Economic and Community Development Agreements (ECDAs)
ECDAs are agreements between government and First Nations for sharing the direct mineral tax revenue on new mines and major mine expansions.
The Province committed to share revenue with First Nations as a means to create certainty on the land and to partner with First Nations in resource development. The Ktunaxa Nation, Nak'azdli First Nation, McLeod Lake Indian Band, and the Stk'emlupsemc of the Secwepemc Nation each have negotiated ECDAs. B.C is engaged in numerous other negotiations and expects to finalize a number of additional ECDAs in the near future.
Forest Consultation and Revenue Sharing Agreements (FCRSA)
In 2010, B.C. introduced a new type of forestry agreement, the Forest Consultation and Revenue Sharing Agreement, which provides First Nations with economic benefits returning directly to their communities, based on harvest activities in their traditional territory.
British Columbia has signed 100 FCRSA agreements with First Nations throughout the province since adopting the new model.
First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund (FNCEBF)
Since 2011, B.C. has invested more than$3.5 million to help 72 Aboriginal communities participate in the clean-energy sector, including wind energy, biomass and run-of-river hydroelectric power.
The FNCEBF provides money to build capacity in First Nations communities and invest in clean-energy infrastructure.
In addition, on March 14, 2013, British Columbia and the Tahltan First Nation signed the first agreement to share revenue from clean-energy projects through the FNCEBF.
By providing a mixture of capacity building, feasibility and project development funding combined with equity funding for projects and revenue-sharing, the fund helps to generate jobs for families and provide opportunities that benefit First Nations and non-First Nations' communities, alike. It also helps to foster economic independence for First Nations.