Signing of Memorandum of Understanding leads innovation in treaty negotiations

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Oct. 13, 2018 — Congratulations to Stó:lō Xwexwilmexw Treaty Association (SXTA) and the governments of Canada and British Columbia on the signing of a unique Memorandum of Understanding that will advance the negotiations table to Stage 5 of the BC treaty negotiations process.

The agreement establishes a revitalized living treaty approach based on government mandates for rights recognition and the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“With the signing of this Memorandum of Understanding, the six First Nations of the Stó:lō Xwexwilmexw Treaty Association, Canada, and British Columbia are advancing their nation-to-nation relationship with innovative approaches to treaty negotiations,” said Chief Commissioner Celeste Haldane. “The BC treaty negotiations process is proving to be the best nation-building opportunity for Indigenous Peoples in the country through Indigenous rights recognition.”

SXTA is a multi-community First Nation representing six communities: Aitchelitz, Leq’á:mel, Skowkale, Skawahlook, Tzeachten, and Yakweakwioose. There are approximately 1,435 SXTA members, with traditional territory in the Lower Mainland of south-western BC, centralized around the upper Fraser and Chilliwack River Valleys, lower Harrison Lake, and the lower Fraser Canyon.

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Chief Commissioner Celeste Haldane and Commissioner Tanya Corbet were in Leq’á:mel last night to witness the signing and celebrate with the Parties.

Quick Facts

  • 38 First Nations, representing 73 current or former Indian Act bands, are in active or completed negotiations.  
  • As of October 12, 2018, there are 9 First Nations, representing 23 Indian Act bands, in Stage 5 of the BC treaty negotiations process: Kitselas and Kitsumkalum [Tsimshian First Nations], K’omoks, Lheidli T’enneh, Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw, Samahquam and Skatin, Stó:lō Xwexwilmexw, Te’mexw, Wuikinuxv, and Yekooche.  
  • There are 7 First Nations implementing modern treaties negotiated through the BC treaty negotiations process: Huu-ay-aht, Ka:’yu:’k’t’h/Che:k’tles7et’h’, Tla’amin, Toquaht, Tsawwassen, Uchucklesaht, and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ.  
  • The BC Treaty Commission released its 2018 annual report on October 10. Read it online: http://bit.ly/2OlO1yL

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Odette Wilson / Communications Advisor / t: 604-482-9215 / c: 604-290-4059 / [email protected] Mark Smith / Director of Process / t: 604-482-9208 / [email protected]

About the BC Treaty Commission The Treaty Commission is the independent body responsible for overseeing treaty negotiations among the governments of Canada, BC and First Nations in BC. It has three roles: facilitation, funding, and public information and education. Visit www.bctreaty.ca to learn more about the Treaty Commission.

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