VANCOUVER - B.C. Cabinet and First Nations leaders from throughout the province convened for a historic day-long dialogue on transforming Crown-First Nations relations in British Columbia.
The Government of British Columbia and First Nations leaders acknowledged that the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in Tsilhqot'in Nation is a historic opportunity to work together to build a new path for recognition and reconciliation in the province.
The decision also establishes a new reality and legal landscape for our transformed relationship, and that implementation of the decision must be a joint endeavour to achieve success and will require hard work.
The Government of British Columbia also recognizes that Aboriginal title in British Columbia exists - this is without question and dispute. The challenge and opportunity is how to implement title across British Columbia given that a diversity of views exists on how best to achieve this in the most collaborative and timely way.
Today, B.C. First Nations proposed the following four foundations to guide a new path forward:
1. We acknowledge that all our relationships are based on recognition and implementation of the existence of Indigenous peoples' inherent title and rights, and pre-confederation, historic and modern treaties, throughout British Columbia.
2. We acknowledge that Indigenous systems of governance and laws are essential to the regulation of lands and resources throughout British Columbia.
3. We acknowledge the mutual responsibility that all of our government systems shall shift to relationships, negotiations and agreements based on recognition.
4. This means we immediately must move to consent based decision making and title based fiscal relations, including revenue sharing, in our relationships, negotiations and agreements.
The Government of British Columbia is committed to working with B.C. First Nations through the establishment of an annual gathering and through ongoing, government-to-government engagement.
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