Long-term fisheries arrangements in British Columbia and Yukon
Treaty negotiations in British Columbia are tri-partite – between Canada, BC and First Nations and are based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) leads treaty negotiations for Canada on all federal matters except fisheries negotiations which are led by DFO. Negotiations are guided by the Recognition and Reconciliation of Rights Policy for treaty negotiations in British Columbia.
In modern treaties that have been negotiated to date, fisheries chapters describe both a fishing right and the role of First Nations in fisheries management.
The fishing right described in a final treaty agreement is protected under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. The authority for fisheries management continues to lie with the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
The following modern-day treaties contain fisheries provisions:
- Yukon Umbrella Final Agreement (1993) is the framework for subsequent agreements:
- Carcross/Tagish First Nation Final Agreement (2005)
- Champagne and Aishihik First Nations Final Agreement (1993)
- Kluane First Nation Final Agreement (2003)
- Kwanlin Dun First Nation Final Agreement (2005)
- Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation Final Agreement (1997)
- First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun Final Agreement (1993)
- Selkirk First Nation Final Agreement (1997)
- Ta'an Kwach'an Council Final Agreement (2002)
- Teslin Tlingit Council Final Agreement (1993)
- Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in Final Agreement (1998)
- Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Final Agreement (1993)
- Nisga'a Final Agreement (effective May 11, 2000)
- Tsawwassen First Nation Final Agreement (effective April 3, 2009)
- Maa-nulth First Nations Final Agreement (effective April 1, 2011)
- Tla'amin Final Agreement (effective April 5, 2016)
In addition to modern-day treaties, the following historic treaties in British Columbia also contain fisheries provisions:
In addition to treaties, the Government of Canada and First Nations also negotiate Reconciliation Agreements to advance the recognition of Indigenous rights and self-determination.
Reconciliation Agreements negotiations are based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership, and priorities identified by Indigenous Nations are the starting point for these negotiations. Reconciliation Agreements can focus on one priority area such as fisheries, or cover many issues.
As in treaty negotiations, Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) leads reconciliation agreements on all federal matters except fisheries negotiations which are led by DFO.
Fisheries components of Reconciliation Agreements seek to advance reconciliation, enable an enhanced role for First Nations in collaborative fisheries governance and management, and provide a robust and meaningful process for engaging stakeholders.
The following Reconciliation Agreements in BC contain fisheries provisions:
- Coastal First Nations Fisheries Resources Reconciliation Agreement (August 2021). Learn more about how it works.
- Tŝilhqot’in Nation Gwets’en Nilt’i Pathway Agreement (August 2019)
- Heiltsuk Haíɫcístut Incremental House Post Agreement (July 2019)
- Fraser Salmon Collaborative Management Agreement (July 2019)
The following Reconciliation Agreement on environmental science and stewardship of Burrard Inlet.
Reconciliation framework agreements
The following framework agreements in BC contain fisheries provisions and set the stage for reconciliation negotiations:
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