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Backgrounder

Maa-nulth First Nations Final Agreement


A treaty will bring certainty with respect to each Maa-nulth First Nation’s rights to use, own and manage lands and resources throughout its claimed traditional territory. It will provide the Maa-nulth First Nations with modern governance tools to build strong and workable relationships with other governments, including federal, provincial and local governments.

The five Maa-nulth First Nations are Ucluelet First Nation, Huu-ay-aht First Nations, Toquaht Nation, Ka:'yu:'k't'h'/ Che:k'tles7et'h' First Nations, and Uchucklesaht Tribe. All are located on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The Maa-nulth First Nations, whose communities are in the areas of Bamfield, Ucluelet, Alberni Inlet, and Kyuquot Sound, have a combined population of approximately 2,000 people.

Appendix A - The five Maa-nulth First Nations

Appendix A - The five Maa-nulth First Nations

Land

  • The Final Agreement land package consists of a total of approximately 24,550 hectares of treaty settlement lands (including former reserves) that will be held in fee simple title. Each Maa-nulth First Nation government will have law-making authority over its land, although federal and provincial laws will continue to apply along with current Maa-nulth First Nation laws.

    • Huu-ay-aht First Nations: 1,077 hectares of former reserves and 7,181 hectares of additional lands
    • Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ First Nations: 379 hectares of former reserves and 5,920 hectares of additional lands
    • Toquaht Nation: 196 hectares of former reserves and 1,293 hectares of additional lands
    • Uchucklesaht Tribe: 233 hectares of former reserves and 2,834 hectares of additional lands
    • Ucluelet First Nation: 199 hectares of former reserves and 5,147 hectares of additional lands, plus 92 hectares of fee-simple owned and surplus federal government lots in the Municipality of the District of Ucluelet.

  • The land will be held in fee simple by the Maa-nulth First Nations. Fee-simple ownership gives the Maa-nulth First Nations the flexibility to manage their lands and generate long-term economic benefits.

Maa-nulth First Nations Role off Treaty Settlement Lands

The Agreement sets out the role of Maa-nulth First Nations in their traditional territories, such as hunting of wildlife and migratory birds.

Financial Components

  • Capital transfers over 10 years, less any outstanding negotiation loans.

    • Huu-ay-aht First Nations: $22.2 million
    • Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ First Nations: $18.5 million
    • Toquaht Nation: $4,.7 million
    • Uchucklesaht Tribe: $6.1 million
    • Ucluelet First Nation: $21.6 million


  • Over a 25-year period, it is estimated that the Maa-nulth First Nations will receive $1.2 million in annual resource revenue sharing payments — actual payments will vary depending on actual provincial stumpage revenues. Huu-ay-aht First Nations will receive an additional $900,000 payment over five years.

    • Huu-ay-aht First Nations: $350,000
    • Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ First Nations: $300,000
    • Toquaht Nation: $70,000
    • Uchucklesaht Tribe: $100,000
    • Ucluelet First Nation: $380,000

  • The Maa-nulth First Nations will deliver agreed upon programs and services and undertake implementation activities as described in the Fiscal Financing Agreement. The agreement provides annual transfers from Canada and British Columbia to the Maa-nulth First Nations, in the form of time-limited and ongoing funding.

    Time-limited funding
    • Huu-ay-aht First Nations: $13.2 million
    • Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ First Nations: $11 million
    • Toquaht Nation: $4.5 million
    • Uchucklesaht Tribe: $5.6 million
    • Ucluelet First Nation: $13 million

    Ongoing funding
    • Huu-ay-aht First Nations: $2.2 million
    • Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ First Nations: $2.9 million
    • Toquaht Nation: $760,000
    • Uchucklesaht Tribe: $1.1 million
    • Ucluelet First Nation: $2.9 million

Forestry

  • The Maa-nulth First Nations will own and manage the forest resources on treaty settlement lands consistent with provincial standards for private lands.

Wildlife, Migratory Birds

  • The Maa-nulth First Nations will have the right to harvest wildlife and migratory birds for food, social and ceremonial purposes within specified areas, subject to conservation measures, public health and public safety regulations.

  • The federal and provincial ministers will retain authority, within their respective jurisdictions, to manage wildlife and migratory birds.

  • Existing guide outfitter tenures and registered traplines have been identified and protected.

Fish

  • Under the treaty, each Maa-nulth First Nation will have the right to harvest fish and aquatic plants for food, social and ceremonial purposes, limited by measures necessary for conservation, public health or public safety.

  • A harvest agreement, separate from the treaty, provides for commercial fishing licences to be issued to the Maa-nulth First Nations. The terms and conditions of commercial licences issued to the Maa-nulth First Nations will be comparable to the terms and conditions for licences held by other fishers in the general commercial fishery.

Culture and Heritage

  • The Maa-nulth First Nations may make laws on treaty settlement lands to conserve and protect Maa-nulth First Nation culture and language, to deal with ancient human remains and to regulate access to Maa-nulth First Nation cultural heritage resources.

  • Some of the Maa-nulth First Nation artifacts in the Royal British Columbia Museum, Canadian Museum of Civilization and Parks Canada collections will be transferred to the Maa-nulth First Nations.

  • The Maa-nulth First Nations will have role with respect to the manner and extent to which Maa-nulth culture will be reflected in the management of federal and provincial parks.

Governance

  • The Maa-nulth Final Agreement will operate within the framework of the Constitution of Canada and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms will apply to the Maa-nulth First Nation governments.

  • Each Maa-nulth First Nation will have a constitution that provides for a government that is democratically and financially accountable to the Maa-nulth-aht (those people who are enrolled in, and will benefit from, the treaty) and Maa-Nulth First Nation citizens.

  • The Maa-nulth First Nation governments will be accountable to Canada and British Columbia for financial transfers they receive from them, so the government that provides the funding can ensure that public funds were used for their intended purposes.

  • With the exception of determining Indian status, after a transition period the Indian Act will no longer apply to Maa-nulth First Nations, their lands or members.

  • At the discretion of each Maa-nulth First Nation, its constitution may provide for the appointment of Ha’wiih (Nuu-chah-nulth hereditary chiefs) into its government structure.

  • The Maa-nulth First Nations will have law-making authority over such matters as culture, governance, lands, education in kindergarten to Grade 12 and adoption as set out in the Final Agreement.

Taxation

  • In the context of treaty negotiations, each Maa-nulth First Nation government will have the ability to levy direct taxes on its citizens within its treaty settlement lands.

  • Section 87 Indian Act exemptions for transaction and other taxes will be phased out after eight and 12 years, respectively.

  • Each Maa-nulth First Nation government will provide that non-Maa-nulth First Nation members who ordinarily reside on Maa-nulth First Nation Lands, and registered owners of real property (or their representatives) who do not ordinarily reside on Maa-nulth First Nation Lands, will have the ability to participate in discussions and vote on taxation decisions that directly and significantly affect them, including the rate of tax, tax exemptions and the expenditure of tax revenues.

Next Steps

  • By initialling the Final Agreement, the chief negotiators for Canada, British Columbia and each Maa-nulth First Nation recommend that their respective principals ratify the agreement.

  • The first step in the ratification process is acceptance of the Final Agreement by the Maa-nulth First Nations. A community approval process will be initiated by the each Maa-nulth First Nation.

  • If the Maa-nulth First Nation communities ratify the Final Agreement, British Columbia will then proceed through its ratification process. Settlement legislation will be introduced into the Legislative Assembly, where it will be debated.

  • If British Columbia ratifies the Final Agreement, Canada will proceed through its ratification process. Settlement legislation would be introduced in Parliament, where it will be debated.

  • Once enacted through legislation, the Final Agreement will become a treaty.

Fact sheets and a summary of the Maa-nulth Final Agreement are available online: Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation;  
Maa-nulth First Nations;   and
BC Treaty Process.

For more information, please call the toll-free line for the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, 1 800-880-1022.

Contact:

Mike Morton
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
(250) 213-8218

Deirdra McCracken
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jim Prentice
(819) 997-0002

Tewanee Joseph
Spokesperson
Maa-nulth First Nations
(604) 230-3126