The Maa-nulth First Nations and the Government of B.C. marked the eighth anniversary of the Maa-nulth Treaty effective date with a flag ceremony at the Parliament Buildings.
On April 1, 2011, Huu-ay-aht First Nations, Ka:'yu:'k't'h'/Chek'tles7et'h' First Nations, Toquaht Nation, Uchucklesaht Tribe, and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ Government, collectively known as the Maa-nulth First Nations, came out from under the Indian Act and became self-governing communities.
”Today’s event is a recognition of the importance of our ‘government-to-government’ relationship under our treaty and of the immense cultural, social and economic development opportunities that we have pursued for our people since it was reached,” said Charlie Cootes, Chief Councillor of Uchucklesaht Tribe and President of the Maa-nulth Treaty Society. “Together, we are working through challenges, celebrating successes and building a lasting, positive partnership for the future.”
The flag display is a demonstration of a shared commitment to reconciliation and an important reminder of the unique government-to-government relationship between B.C. and these treaty Nations.
“I clearly remember being in the legislature and listening to the Chiefs of the Maa-nulth First Nations speaking at the bar of the House when the Maa-nulth treaty legislation was introduced. There was such a sense of excitement and possibility for the future,” said Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. “Together, we’re celebrating eight years, and I look forward to continuing to witness the progress of these five nations as they continue to shape the future they want as self-determining Nations.”
Since the Treaty came into effect, each of the Maa-nulth First Nations has pursued governance, economic, social, cultural and environmental goals that have helped Maa-nulth communities thrive and flourish. Successes that have benefited members of the five Nations include tourism development, resource development, aquaculture, language restoration, cultural artifact repatriation, real estate development, renewable energy development, regional district membership and renewal of government-to-government relationships with British Columbia.
“Treaties provide foundations for ongoing co-operation and partnership as we move forward together to advance reconciliation,” said Carolyn Bennett, federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations. “I would like to express my congratulations to all parties on the anniversary of this important agreement between the Maa-nulth First Nations, the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada. I would also like to take this opportunity to recognize the ongoing partnerships and nation-to-nation relationships that continue to thrive as a result.”
The provincial government and the Maa-nulth First Nations recognize that reconciliation does not end when a treaty comes into effect. Since 2011, all parties have fostered an ongoing partnership. In 2018, a government-to-government agreement underscored the partnership by creating regular forums to discuss, prioritize and collaborate on topics of mutual interest, including land, resource management and treaty implementation issues.
- The Maa-nulth First Nations Final Agreement is the first modern treaty on Vancouver Island and the first multi-nation treaty in B.C. under the BC Treaty Commission process.
- Maa-nulth means “villages along the coast” in the Nuu-chah-nulth language. Maa-nulth First Nations are located on the west coast of Vancouver Island surrounding Barkley Sound and Kyuquot Sound.
- The treaty negotiation process provides a framework for three parties — Canada, B.C. and First Nations — to work toward the common goal of reconciliation and to build a new relationship through treaties. Some major components integral to modern treaty-making include Indigenous rights, self-government, land and resources, financial agreements, fishing and forestry.
Maa-nulth Treaty, government-to-government and other agreements: ow.ly/ZEHb30ghQng
Maa-nulth First Nations: maanulth.ca
Huu-ay-aht First Nations: huuayaht.org
Ka:'yu:'k't'h'/Chek'tles7et'h' First Nations: kyuquotbc.ca
Toquaht Nation: toquaht.ca
Uchucklesaht Tribe: uchucklesaht.ca
Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ Government: ufn.ca