How the Process Works

Each treaty is a three-way agreement, worked out by negotiators representing:

  • the Government of Canada
  • the Province of British Columbia
  • a First Nation or First Nations group

Negotiators for BC and Canada receive their authority and instructions from the provincial and federal cabinets, respectively. Negotiators for First Nations receive their authority and instructions from the communities they represent.

The treaty process also involves two groups that play important roles, but do not take part in actual negotiations:

The First Nations Summit   represents the First Nations and Tribal Councils negotiating treaties in BC. Established in 1990, the Summit serves as a forum for First Nations to discuss treaty-related issues. The Summit also represents common interests of First Nations in discussions with the provincial and federal governments.

The BC Treaty Commission   plays a pivotal role as the "keeper" of the treaty process. It was formed in 1992 by Canada, BC and the First Nations Summit. The commission is a neutral, independent body with three roles:

  • to facilitate treaty negotiations,
  • to provide funding to First Nations to support their participation, and
  • to provide public information and education about treaty negotiations.