Principals reappoint Chief Commissioner Celeste Haldane
“I am honoured to be reappointed by Canada, British Columbia and the First Nations Summit and to continue serving as Chief Commissioner.” – Celeste Haldane
As announced on May 22nd, the First Nations Summit, the Government of British Columbia and the Government of Canada have reappointed Chief Commissioner Celeste Haldane to another three-year term. "I am honoured to be reappointed by Canada, British Columbia and the First Nations Summit and to continue serving as Chief Commissioner. Although these are challenging times, negotiations of treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements must be a priority. Investing in reconciliation and Indigenous self-governance empowers healthy and prosperous regions throughout British Columbia. There have been significant milestones in negotiations, including the new rights recognition policy, and the Treaty Commission looks forward to supporting this momentum. I also want to recognize the hard work of all the parties to pivot during these times and maintain progress towards reconciliation."
In her time as Chief Commissioner, Celeste has overseen momentous changes to British Columbia’s treaty process. Milestones such as the Principals’ Accord on Transforming Treaty Negotiations in British Columbia (2018), the Recognition and Reconciliation of Rights Policy for Treaty Negotiations in British Columbia (2019), Canada’s Collaborative Self-Government Fiscal Policy (2019), and British Columbia’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (2019) have affirmed the recognition of rights and title in the BC treaty process. The negotiations, as explained by Haldane in the Commission’s 2019 Annual Report, were never “meant to be built on antiquated policies and notions of extinguishment of rights.” Rather, it was meant to be “a new way to build meaningful relationships between all Parties.” These milestones are reflective of an era filled with “opportunity for true reconciliation, the recognition of rights, sharing of sovereignty, and sharing prosperity.”
Acknowledging the challenging state of current affairs, Haldane is eager to continue building on the momentum Parties’ have achieved: “negotiations of treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements must be a priority.”