Maa-nulth Final Agreement: Culture, Heritage and Artifacts

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The Maa-nulth Final Agreement was negotiated by the Government of Canada, the Government of British Columbia and the Maa-nulth First Nations. 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 located on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The Maa-nulth First Nations represent about 2,000 people. Maa-nulth means “villages along the coast” in the Nuu-chah-nulth language.

The Maa-nulth Final Agreement is among the first Final Agreements reached in the province under the British Columbia treaty process. The Final Agreement sets out each Maa-nulth First Nation's rights and benefits respecting land and resources, and self-government over its lands and resources and its citizens. The Final Agreement provides certainty for all parties with respect to ownership and management of lands and resources and the exercise of federal, provincial and Maa-nulth First Nation governmental powers and authorities.

The negotiation of a Final Agreement marks Stage Five of the six-stage British Columbia treaty process, and is the conclusion of substantive treaty negotiations. Once ratified by all parties, the Final Agreement will become a treaty through legislation. It will be a constitutionally-protected legal agreement which creates mutually binding obligations and commitments.

Culture, Heritage and Artifacts

Canada, British Columbia and the Maa-nulth First Nations recognize that Maa-nulth First Nation artifacts play an integral role in the continuation of their culture, values and traditions.

Should Maa-nulth First Nation archaeological human remains come into the possession of Canada, Canada will transfer them to the appropriate Maa-nulth First Nation, subject to federal and provincial laws. The Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Royal British Columbia Museum will transfer to each applicable Maa-nulth First Nation certain artifacts held in their permanent collections.

The Maa-nulth First Nations will have a role in the management of heritage sites on and off Maa-nulth First Nation Lands. Before the effective date of the treaty, British Columbia and the Maa-nulth First Nations will negotiate a list of key sites of cultural and historic significance outside Maa-nulth First Nation Lands that may be protected through provincial heritage site designation.

Each Maa-nulth First Nation government may make laws applicable on Maa-nulth First Nation Lands regarding the preservation, promotion and development of the Nuu-chah-nulth culture and the Nuu-chah-nulth language. Each Maa-nulth First Nation government may also make laws on the conservation, protection and management of cultural heritage sites and artifacts, and public access to heritage sites located on its Maa-nulth First Nation Lands.

Key geographic features or places, set out in the Final Agreement, may be renamed in the Nuu-chah-nulth language in accordance with provincial policy and procedure.

If you would like more information about the Maa-nulth Final Agreement, contact:

British Columbia
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada BC Region
600-1138 Melville St.
Vancouver, BC V6E 4S3
British Columbia
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation  
PO Box 9100 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, BC V8W 9B1