Friday, August 13, 2021

Council of the Haida Nation, Federal and Provincial governments reach agreement towards further reconciliation

An agreement announced today between the Council of the Haida Nation and the provincial and federal governments has set the stage for further progress on reconciliation negotiations; as well as to put down the foundation towards a framework for Haida Nation Title and Rights.

From today's agreement the three parties note that it is based on recognition of the Haida Nation’s inherent Title and Rights with respect to the Haida Gwaii terrestrial area, including the inherent right to self-government

Discussions will be founded on the understanding that Haida inherent Title exists, rather than having to be proven. The agreement also commits to negotiations in good faith to reconcile interests, including laws and management of resources, in the marine area of Haida Gwaii.

The GayG̱ahlda “Changing Tide” framework agreement features an ambitious negotiation agenda which includes priority and long-term topics for reconciliation that will redefine the relationship between the Haida Nation, Canada and the Province. 

The agreement also commits to a series of good faith measures as a starting point, which may include forestry measures, resources for governance capacity, social and cultural measures, business opportunities and fisheries and marine matters. It also describes a path forward based on a series of agreements that build on each other over time to implement Title and Rights. A principle for negotiations is that private land and the operation of municipal governments will remain under provincial jurisdiction. Any acquisition of private lands by the Haida Nation will be on a willing seller-willing buyer basis. 

Today's announcement will not have an impact on the relationship between negotiations and the legal title case filed by the Haida Nation is described in the agreement. The parties have agreed that negotiations and litigation can continue concurrently. However, the parties will not go to trial while negotiations proceed in good faith. 

“GayG̱ahlda represents an important opportunity to begin the process of Tll Yahda ‘making things right’ between the Crown governments and the Haida Nation. 

By shifting away from the denial politics of the past and moving to a place of truth through acknowledgment of inherent Haida Title, a strong foundation for negotiations is established. 

Together we have set the k’yuu ‘pathway’ to realize peaceful co-existence between the people of Haida Gwaii and between governments without compromise to the objectives of the Haida Nation.” --Gaagwiis Jason Alsop, President of the Haida Nation 

Among those speaking to today's announcement from the Government side was North Coast MLA  Jennifer Rice, who hailed the agreement as another step forward for all of those involved.

“This unique and groundbreaking GayG̱ahlda agreement addresses matters of First Nations Title and Rights through negotiating as equal partners. 

The Haida have always been at the forefront of Title and Rights and we are proud to be moving forward together with them, the federal government and all Haida Gwaii.”

More on today's announcement can be reviewed here.

The full document that makes for the Changing Tide agreement can be examined here

It's the second significant Agreement in the Northwest signed by First Nations and the two levels of government this week, yesterday we outlined the background to the argreement that has been reached with the Gitanayow.

More notes on the Federal scene can be reviewed here.

While provincial topics of note are relayed through our Legislature archive.

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