Government-to-government Relationships support modern treaty implementation
Strong, functioning relationships between modern treaty nations and federal, provincial, territorial, and local governments are essential to the successful implementation of modern treaties in Canada. In addition to recognizing and protecting Indigenous rights and title, modern treaties operationalize the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration).
In fulfilment of its mandate to provide education on treaties, the Treaty Commission authors and contributes to various publication and projects. The Treaty Commission authored a paper on the subject of government-to-government relationships in the Northern Public Affairs Magazine’s Special Issue on Modern Treaty Implementation Research. Government-to-Government Relationships Support Modern Treaty Implementation examines how modern treaties have enhanced intergovernmental relationships in British Columbia. Using case studies, the paper highlights how pre- and post-treaty relationship building at local levels contributes positively to both modern treaty implementation and regional prosperity.
The article highlights the relationship between Tla’amin Nation and the City of Powell River, who turned a potential conflict triggered by construction of a sea walk into a catalyst for starting a new, mutually beneficial relationship.
A case study on the Maa-nulth First Nations and the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District examines government-to-government relationships at the regional level. In BC, regional governments operate as federations of municipalities and electoral areas to coordinate services and resources across a region. However, Indian Act, strengthening the communication and information sharing that is essential to consent-based decision-making.
Moving toward newer, more innovative approaches to government-to-government relationships, the article also discusses how modern treaty First Nations in British Columbia have come together to create the Alliance of British Columbia Modern Treaty Nations (the Alliance). The Alliance is a joint advocacy body that collaborates on areas of mutual interest related to treaty implementation issues. Created in July 2018, all eight modern treaty nations in British Columbia are now members of the Alliance (Tsawwassen First Nation, Tla’amin Nation, Huu-ay-aht First Nations, Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Chek’tles7et’h’ First Nations, Toquaht Nation, Uchucklesaht Tribe, Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ Government, and Nisga’a Nation).
Northern Public Affairs is dedicated to mobilizing diverse voices from across the North on pressing public concerns. All issues of their magazine, including the special issue, are available for free on their website: www.northernpublicaffairs.ca.