B.C. treaty planning resource guide receives national award

July 09, 2013

bc logoMinistry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

For Immediate Release: July 9, 2013

VICTORIA – A treaty planning resource guide developed jointly by B.C., Huu-ay-aht First Nations, Yuułuʔłʔatḥ (Ucluelet First Nation) and the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) has received a national planning award.

The guide, entitled A Path Forward, received an award for planning excellence from the Canadian Institute of Planners. The Planning Excellence category recognizes the contribution to the planning profession by research and policy publications.

The guide has its roots in the Maa-nulth Treaty, which came into effect in 2011. The treaty calls for the five Vancouver Island-based Maa-nulth First Nations to join the regional district where they are located within 10 years of the treaty effective date. On April 1, 2012, a year after the treaty took effect, two Maa-nulth nations, Huu-ay-aht and Yuułuʔłʔatḥ, officially joined the ACRD.

In order to help better integrate treaty First Nation representation at the local government level, the Province commissioned a tool to be used as a resource by the two governments as they go about making the necessary changes resulting from the new relationship.

The goal was to develop a resource that contains direction on protocols, treaties, terminology and other information that the parties believe will be useful for anyone with questions about the process and what it entails.

A Path Forward is a resource guide to support collaboration and planning among treaty First Nations, regional districts and local governments. The guide recognizes the evolution of the treaty process and the need for treaty settlements to be accepted and implemented at the community level in order to be successful. It also provides a practical framework for creating and strengthening collaborative, mutually beneficial relationships between First Nations, local governments and regional districts.

These collaborative relationships promote resilient communities throughout B.C. and help to close the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal British Columbians, which will in turn promote opportunities to engage with First Nations, create jobs and economic opportunities and help build a better future for communities throughout B.C.

The guide that was developed supports staff, residents and citizens in the region, but it will hopefully also serve as a tool for other regions, providing valuable guidance both for First Nations moving through the treaty process and for their respective local government partners.

B.C. remains committed to negotiating treaties with First Nations, and as B.C., Canada and First Nations finalize treaties, this tool will provide a very valuable resource for those tasked with managing First Nations’ transitions into regional and local governments

Quotes:

Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister John Rustad –

“This resource guide will be an essential tool as we work with B.C. First Nations to secure treaties that provide economic benefit and security for all British Columbians. This innovative, co-operative effort by the Alberni Clayoquot Regional District, Huu-ay-aht First Nations, Yuułuʔłʔatḥ and the Province will help create solutions to complex issues, resulting in greater efficiencies and smoother sailing for treaty implementation in B.C.”

Yuułuʔłʔat Government President Charles McCarthy –

“Having a voice and a vote on political, regional matters was entrenched in the Maa-nulth First Nations Final Agreement, and the Yuułuʔłʔatḥ values this opportunity. There is a requirement in the treaty that we join the regional district and although our participation may not have been welcome with open arms initially, we are now part of the decision-making, and as relationships are forged, the misunderstandings and mistrust between us wanes. Eventually, we will respect one another and work collaboratively, but that process isn’t going to happen overnight. Treaty nations and the communities that we interact with are bound to experience growing pains; we will need to be patient with one another. Understanding that we are human first, and Aboriginal and non-Aboriginals second, will go a long way to creating harmonious relationships and ultimately better communities. We hope that our experience can help others, and if we can offer some personal insight, please pick up the phone.”

Alberni Clayoquot Regional District chair Cindy Solda –

“The toolkit is a very valuable resource. It’s a road map which guided the regional district for successful inclusion of First Nations as members of our board.”

Media Contact:

Nina Chiarelli

Government Communications and Public Engagement

Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

250 953-3211

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