British Columbia Treaty Commission

British Columbia Treaty Commission

April 08, 2015 10:33 ET

The True Investment in Treaty Negotiations

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - April 8, 2015) - Recently there have been incorrect reports about the number of First Nations in the treaty negotiations process and the amount of money spent. The Province has inaccurately stated that there are 50 First Nations out of 200 currently in the treaty negotiations process. Media coverage reported that $600 million has been spent by taxpayers to conclude only four treaties.

Here are the facts:

Negotiations

  • There are 65 First Nations, representing 105 Indian Act Bands out of a total of 199 Indian Act Bands in BC, which are participating in or have completed treaties through the BC treaty negotiations process.1
  • Active or completed negotiations involve 47 First Nations, representing 83 Indian Act Bands, totalling 41% of all Indian Act Bands in BC.
  • There are eight treaties completed, not four as has been often stated.

Funding

For every $100 of negotiation support funding allocated, $80 is a loan from Canada, taken on by First Nations, $12 is a contribution from Canada, and $8 is a contribution from BC.

Since May 1993, $627 million in negotiation support funding has been allocated to 65 First Nations. This represents approximately $493 million in loans and $134 million in non-repayable contributions.

This means that the federal government has contributed approximately $80.4 million to treaty negotiations, and the provincial government has contributed $53.6 million.

Investment

With over half of all First Nations in BC in the treaty negotiations process, taking on a total of $493 million in loans, and 41% in active negotiations, the investment by all the parties is significant and ongoing. We must not throw away the investment already made or trivialize the importance of the treaty negotiations process to our province.

1 Indian Act Band numbers are from the AANDC's First Nation Profiles: http://fnp-ppn.aandc-aadnc.gc.ca/fnp/Main/index.aspx?lang=eng

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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