Here’s a brief guide to northwest BC treaty details

Kitselas and Kitsumkalum draft agreements in principle provide outline for final treaty negotiations

  • Sep. 12, 2012 1:00 p.m.

What’s up

WITH the draft agreements in principle for the Kitsumkalum and Kitselas now released,  each party will now put theirs through their respective approval processes.

Canada and B.C. will seek internal approval from their various departments and principles and

Kitsumkalum and Kitselas will hold community votes on February 23 & 24, 2013.

Changes to the AIP may still be necessary.

Lands

 

THE Kitsumkalum treaty settlement lands would be 45,406.3 hectares (approx. 112,201 acres or 454 sq. km) with the majority located northwest of Terrace.

The Kitsumkalum current reserve size is 597 hectares.

Kitselas treaty settlement lands would be 36,158.7 hectares (approx. 89,350 acres or 362 sq. km)  and located south and northeast of Terrace.

Current Kitselas reserves take up 1069.1 hectares.

Final agreements would  bring full ownership, management and control over treaty settlement lands.

This includes ownership of all forestry and mineral resources.

The lands will no longer be Indian Reserves and Final Agreement negotiations may consider additional lands.

Money

THE Kitsumkalum will receive a $44.2 million capital transfer and the Kitselas a $34.7 million capital transfer.

 

The capital transfer will not affect money for programs and services.

Health and education benefits continue to be provided by Canada and B.C.

Tax exemptions under the Indian Act will eventually be phased out after 8 years for sales tax and after 12 years for income and property tax.

Kitsumkalum/Kitselas will receive all property tax revenues.

Canada will provide all revenues and B.C. will provide half of the revenues from income tax and sales tax on treaty settlement lands.

Final agreement negotiations may consider additional capital transfer amounts.

People

KITSUMKALUM has 708 registered members (239 living on-reserve) and Kitselas has 584 registered members (273 living on-reserve).

Members will continue to be status Indians for the purposes of programs and services, such as health and education, except in regards to the taxation as explained above.

Anyone of Kitsumkalum/Kitselas ancestry will be eligible for treaty benefits.

Laws

BOTH First Nations will have new law-making authorities for lands, land use and land management.

Social services will be provided to Kitsumkalum/Kitselas members on their lands.

Education and teaching of the Sm’algyx language will be included under law-making authority as will culture and heritage and hunting and gather.

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms will apply to Kitsumkalum/Kitselas governments.

Kitsumkalum/Kitselas constitutions will be developed with community input and provide the structure of Kitsumkalum/Kitselas governments

protections for Kitsumkalum/Kitselas members law-making process and process for challenging the validity of laws.

There will be financial standards laws.

Hunting and gathering

ABORIGINAL rights and hunting and gathering rights are not extinguished and will continue throughout the traditional territory.

Rights continue to be constitutionally protected.

The crown will still be required to consult for projects that affect lands or rights.

Kitsumkalum/Kitselas will have law-making in regards to wildlife management among members.

Hunters are still not expected to pay for licenses or abide by seasonal restrictions unless necessary for conservation.

Non-members will not be allowed to hunt or gather on treaty settlement lands without consent.

The parties will also negotiate harvesting of marine resources other than fish during final agreement talks should the agreements in principle be approved.

What’s next

APPROVAL of the  agreements in principle require  ‘yes’ votes by 50 per cent plus 1 of registered members who turn out to vote. Members must be over the age of 18 to vote.

If the agreements are approved, final treaty negotiations can begin.

All lands, including forests and minerals, will be protected and cannot be sold or leased while negotiations continued.

If one community votes ‘yes’ and the other ‘no’, the ‘yes’ community will continue final negotiations.

 

 

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