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Long-term fisheries arrangements in British Columbia and Yukon

The Government of Canada is working in partnership with Indigenous Peoples to address past harms, support strong and healthy communities, and advance self-determination and prosperity. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act is Canada’s roadmap to implement lasting reconciliation, healing and cooperative relations. Through treaties, reconciliation agreements and other collaborative arrangements, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is working with Indigenous partners to build and maintain these relationships based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.

The Recognition and Reconciliation of Rights Policy for treaty negotiations in British Columbia frames the negotiation approach for modern day agreements by recognizing Indigenous Nations’ pre-existing inherent rights. Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) leads negotiations for Canada on all federal matters except fisheries negotiations which are led and implemented by our department. Negotiating treaty, non-treaty fisheries agreements and other collaborative management processes are key action areas of our department’s Reconciliation Strategy.



Treaty negotiations in British Columbia are tri-partite – between Canada, BC and First Nations. Treaties signed with Indigenous Peoples in Canada between 1701 and 1923 are commonly referred to as historic treaties while treaties negotiated today are known as modern treaties.

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 BC Treaty Commission sets out a six stage process for negotiating and implementing treaties in British Columbia. Fisheries is an important aspect of each negotiation stage and guided by our Reconciliation Strategy, we collaboratively work with all partners to advance and implement Indigenous rights and self-determination.

Modern-day treaties

The following modern-day treaties contain fisheries provisions:

In addition to modern-day treaties, the following historic treaties in British Columbia also contain fisheries provisions:

Reconciliation Agreements

Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination Agreements

The Government of Canada is working with Indigenous groups to explore new, flexible ways of working together to recognize Indigenous rights and self-determination. Through these Reconciliation Agreements, Canada and Indigenous Peoples examine new ways to reach agreements and to advance an Indigenous vision of self-determination. In Reconciliation Agreement processes, Indigenous Peoples identify their priorities for negotiations as a starting point, and can include many issues, or focus on one priority area such as fisheries.

Negotiating fisheries reconciliation agreements is also a key component of our Reconciliation Strategy. Together with Indigenous Peoples, we jointly design the process through co-developed agreements (such as Reconciliation Framework Agreements) and work in partnership to find shared solutions.

The following Reconciliation Agreements in BC contain fisheries provisions:

The following Reconciliation Agreement on environmental science and stewardship of Burrard Inlet.

Reconciliation framework agreements

The following framework agreement in BC contains fisheries provisions and set the stage for reconciliation negotiations:

Other collaborative arrangements

Other collaborative arrangements

Our commitment to collaboration with Indigenous Peoples and organizations extends outside of treaty and non-treaty negotiations. Building decision-making and collaborative management processes with Indigenous Peoples, wherever their rights are affected, is central to our Reconciliation Strategy.

For example, in 2010, together with the First Nations Fisheries Council, we entered into the Commitment to Action Accord as a way to identify shared priorities at a provincial scale, as well as to support collaboration on activities, objectives and outcomes. In 2019, together with the Fraser Salmon Management Council (FSMC), we created a joint DFO-FSMC board that reviews and make collaborative recommendations on operational fisheries issues.

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