The Treaty Commission is the independent funding authority for negotiations in BC.
This is outlined in the Treaty Negotiations Framework as recommended in the Task Force Report and set out in the British Columbia Treaty Commission Agreement, associated federal and provincial legislation, and Recognition and Reconciliation of Rights Policy.
The role of the Treaty Commission is to “ensure that the process is fair and impartial, that all parties have sufficient resources to do the job, and that the parties work effectively to reach agreements” (Task Force Report, p. 35). The allocation and monitoring of negotiation support funding to First Nations assists with this principle.
Negotiation support funding is allocated to First Nations to negotiate with Canada and BC. The funding is provided by Canada and BC and the Treaty Commission allocates this funding to First Nations.
Treaty negotiation support funding allocated by the Treaty Commission is now 100 per cent contribution funding. In 2018, the federal government announced that going forward it would replace negotiation support loans with non-repayable contribution funding for First Nations participating in modern treaty negotiations. Canada provides over 90% of the contribution funding and BC provides the remainder.
As of March 2020, the Government of Canada forgave all outstanding comprehensive claims negotiation loan debt across Canada, fulfilling its commitment made in Budget 2019: Investing in the Middle Class to Grow Canada’s Economy. Groups that had already repaid loans are being reimbursed.
Read the Treaty Commission’s latest annual report for the most recent information about the total funding allocated to First Nations in the BC treaty negotiations process, and BC Treaty Commission’s operating budget.