Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, has issued the following statement to mark the 10th anniversary of the Maa-nulth Treaty:
“I offer my congratulations to the leadership of the Maa-nulth First Nations – the Huu-ay-aht First Nations, Toquaht Nation, Uchucklesaht Tribe Government, Ka:'yu:'k't'h'/Che:k'tles7et'h' First Nations, and Yuułuʔiłʔath Government – on this very significant treaty anniversary. Ten years ago today, the Maa-nulth Nations made history by signing the first multi-nation treaty in British Columbia.
“The Maa-nulth Treaty was a culmination of more than 15 years of negotiations between five First Nations on the west coast of Vancouver Island, the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia. On April 1, 2011, the citizens of the Maa-nulth First Nations marked the treaty coming into effect with a symbolic gesture – burning the Indian Act. The Maa-nulth First Nations regained control over lands and resources and governance of their own Nations once again.
“Treaties are an important pathway to meaningful reconciliation. They help to support strong, healthy, thriving communities that benefit people today and for generations to come. The Maa-nulth First Nations now share in the wealth of resources in their territories, and have legislative tools to strengthen their language, culture and heritage. The Nations can pursue economic opportunities to benefit their citizens and chart a course for the future they want.
“The Maa-nulth Treaty is a shining example that treaties are the foundation for a new and ongoing relationship. I am pleased to reaffirm my commitment to furthering our government-to-government relationship and building on past successes to support an even better life for future generations of the five Maa-nulth First Nations.”