A land transfer agreement with the Province supports new cultural, social and economic opportunities for the Haisla Nation, while advancing reconciliation with the First Nation.
John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, and Ellis Ross, Chief Councillor of the Haisla Nation, celebrated an incremental treaty agreement today in Kitamaat Village.
The Province introduced incremental treaty agreements to help speed up the treaty process by building goodwill among parties and bringing the benefits of treaty faster to First Nations. These agreements also provide increased certainty on the land base and with natural resource development.
Under the agreement, approximately 120 hectares of Crown land will be transferred to the Haisla. The land lies between Kitamaat Village and Walth reserve on the Douglas Channel, and will connect the two reserves.
The land lies in the heart of the Haisla Nation territory and will support the community’s goal of expanding housing, commercial and public space for its members, and opening new business opportunities.
The agreement continues the productive relationship between the Haisla Nation and B.C., which is furthering economic development opportunities and improving social conditions.
The Haisla agreement is the 18th incremental treaty agreement in B.C.
Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation John Rustad –
“Incremental treaty agreements are a made-in-B.C. innovation that advance long-term reconciliation and bring nations the benefits of treaty faster. These lands will open new opportunities for the Haisla Nation as they expand their community and build lasting prosperity through sustainable commercial ventures, and partnerships with industry and government.”
Haisla Nation Chief Councillor Ellis Ross –
“This agreement will resolve a long-standing claim to a key part of the Haisla Nation territory. These lands have great historical and cultural value to our people, and we’ve worked to reacquire them for 60 years. They’ll bring continuity to our communities, and will provide new housing and business opportunities. We appreciate the work of the Province to conclude the agreement and we continue to look forward to working together productively with B.C. to improve our community and help integrate the Haisla people into the provincial economy.”
- Haisla Nation has approximately 1,840 members, with 700 people living in Kitamaat Village, at the head of Douglas Channel, about 10 kilometres south of Kitimat.
- The incremental treaty agreement provides for the early transfer land to Haisla Nation, ahead of a final agreement with the Haisla.
- The Province and Haisla Nation have collaborated on a number of initiatives, including facilitating negotiations for the Haisla to purchase former District of Kitimat hospital lands; the purchase of MK Bay Marina; and transfer of foreshore lots in the Douglas Channel.
- In 2012, Haisla Nation and the Province signed the Haisla Framework Agreement allowing for the purchase or lease of approximately 800 hectares of land adjacent to Indian Reserve No. 6, intended for LNG development. The framework agreement also commits the parties to land-use planning around the Douglas Channel, helping to create certainty and allowing other projects in the area to proceed.
- Haisla is a member of the First Nations Limited Partnership, a group 16 First Nations with pipeline benefits agreements with the Province for the Pacific Trail Pipeline. Haisla and the Province also have a forestry revenue sharing agreement and a reconciliation agreement.
- Haisla Nation is a member of Marine Planning Partnership for the North Pacific Coast, which provides recommendations on stewardship and sustainable economic development of the coastal marine environment.
- Over the past decade, the Haisla Nation has engaged in 17 joint ventures with industries seeking to support economic activity for the region.
For a copy of the incremental treaty agreement: ow.ly/TvKDv
For more on the Haisla Nation: haisla.ca
For more on the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation: ow.ly/PBGQi