The Treaty Commission acts independently to LEAD:
The British Columbia Treaty Commission advocates for and facilitates the recognition and protection of Indigenous rights and title, through the negotiations of modern treaties and tripartite agreements among the governments of Canada, British Columbia and participating First Nations in BC.
The Treaty Commission is the only independent tripartite statutory body in the country whose mandate is to support reconciliation. The Treaty Commission is the independent body responsible for facilitating treaty negotiations, it does not negotiate — that is done by the three Parties at each negotiation table.
The Report of the BC Claims Task Force, is the blueprint for the made-in-BC treaty negotiations process. The Treaty Commission and the six-stage treaty negotiations process are designed to advance negotiations and facilitate fair and durable treaties and agreements.
The Treaty Commission mandate includes three main roles:
In 2018 this mandate was expanded to include supporting negotiating Parties in implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration), the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action, the Principles Respecting the Government of Canada’s Relationship with Indigenous Peoples, and the recognition of First Nations title and rights.
Independence is central to the mandate of the Treaty Commission
Independence provides the Treaty Commission with the authority to ensure fair and impartial negotiations, which are essential to reconciliation. This is consistent with the right to fair, independent, impartial, and transparent mechanisms to assist with the recognition of Indigenous rights as set out in the UN Declaration.
The Treaty Commission is comprised of one Chief Commissioner, four part-time Commissioners, and a diverse group of staff members. The operating costs of the Treaty Commission are funded by the federal and provincial governments. The Government of Canada contributes 60 per cent and the Government of British Columbia contributes 40 per cent. The annual operating budget is $3.05 million.
September 21, 2022 marked the 30th anniversary of the BC Treaty Commission. These photos are from the event celebrating BC Modern Treaties and the Modern Treaty Partners.