British Columbia and the Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council (NNTC) have signed an accord that breaks new ground on the government’s key reconciliation priorities.
The Political Accord on Advancing Recognition, Reconciliation, and Implementation of Title and Rights commits the Province and the NNTC to accelerate the development of new revenue-sharing formulas, to work on mechanisms to recognize and implement Nlaka’pamux Title and Rights, and align an existing collaborative decision-making process with the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). It also commits to the completion of a Comprehensive Forestry Agreement Framework.
“The accord demonstrates government’s commitment to having open, progressive dialogue with First Nations on new ways of working, learning and collaborating together. The Province and the Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council have a shared interest in moving forward together as partners, to build on our successes and resilient relationship, and to ensure our work embodies the principles of UNDRIP,” said Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.
The accord frames a shared path forward for how the Province and NNTC will continue to work together on important decisions and actions. The accord reflects government’s vision of reconciliation, recognition and respect in action, and affirms government’s commitment to transform the Crown-First Nation relationship. It is a foundation for lasting government-to-government partnerships, as informed by UNDRIP, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, and the Tsilhqot’in decision.
Working closely with Indigenous communities, respecting their jurisdiction, and ensuring they are receiving fair benefits from resources within their territories strongly aligns with the spirit and intent of UNDRIP and with government’s commitment to economic equality for all people in B.C.
“The Political Accord represents an important new stage in our co-operative work with the Province of British Columbia. By explicitly identifying shared work regarding alignment with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, piloting principles and models of decision-making reflecting free, prior and informed consent, and building mechanisms for recognition and implementation of Title and Rights, the Accord has the potential to usher in a new era of recognition-based relationships,” said Grand Chief Robert Pasco, Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council.
“Over the next 12 months we expect to see a transformation in the work of our shared decision-making board with the Province, and more broadly the emergence of structures and processes where Nlaka'pamux governance, jurisdiction, and laws are increasingly respected. We applaud the new government for taking this bold step to move beyond the status quo, and to recognize that new government-to-government relationships requires that we move with innovation and courage, and do not avoid hard conversations or topics or act out of fear. Consistent with Article 38, we see the Accord as a way of moving forward in consultation and co-operation to achieve the ends of the Declaration,” Chief Pasco added.
- The accord was signed on behalf of the Province by Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation; Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development; and Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources; and on behalf of the NNTC communities of Nteqem/Snapaa, Boothroyd, Spuzzum, Lytton and Skuppah by Grand Chief Robert Pasco, Chief Mike Campbell, Chief Harold Bobb, Coun. Debbie Abbot and Coun. Sherry McIntyre.
- The partnership builds on the foundation and success of the Land and Resource Decision Making Pilot Project Agreement, which provides for shared decision-making between B.C. and NNTC on resource decisions throughout Nlaka’pamux territory, as well as the success of agreements providing a share of provincial forestry and mining revenue to NNTC and its member communities.
- The five Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council member communities are Lytton, Skuppah, Nteqem/Snapaa (Oregon Jack Creek), Boothroyd and Spuzzum. They are located in the Fraser Canyon near Boston Bar, Cache Creek, Yale and Lytton.
- The Province, NNTC and its five member communities have an Economic and Community Development Agreement, which provides for a share of Highland Valley Copper Mine’s mineral tax revenue.
Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation: gov.bc.ca/irr
Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council: http://www.nntc.ca/pages/home.aspx