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Aboriginal Treaties

An introduction to treaties in BC and Canada, and Métis settlements.

Getting Started

"Comprehensive land claim settlements deal with areas of Canada where Aboriginal people's claims to Aboriginal rights have not been addressed by treaties, or other legal means." (From Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada).

Modern Treaties, also known as Comprehensive Land Claims, recognize that Indigenous title has never been extinguished in areas not covered by historical treaties.

Online Resources:

The Government of Canada negotiates Comprehensive Land Claims and Self-Government Agreements with Aboriginal groups and provincial/territorial governments across Canada. These negotiations are depicted on the following document from 2014: Comprehensive Land Claim and Self-Government Negotiation Tables.  

British Columbia

Delgamuukw Case (1997)

The Supreme Court of Canada "found treaty rights could not be extinguished, confirmed oral testimony is as legitimate as other forms of evidence, and stated Indigenous title rights include not only land, but the right to extract resources from the land." (From CBC News). 

See also the Law - Delgamuukw Resources research guide from the Law Library at Allard Hall. 

Nisga'a Treaty Agreement (2000)

The Nisga'a Agreement was the first modern day treaty in British Columbia. Negotiations began between the Nisga'a Nation, the Government of British Columbia, and the Government of Canada in 1990; the treaty came into effect May 11, 2000.

Leadership Accord (2005)

The Leadership Accord, effective March 17, 2005, is a union between:

to represent their respective members in the collaborative process to "bring about significant and substantive changes to government policy that will benefit all First Nations in British Columbia." [Leadership Accord]

Socio-Political Context for Negotiations

There are many reasons treaties are initiated today. The following resources discuss reasons First Nations may choose to begin a treaty process.

There are also reasons why modern treaties are not pursued, including precedent set by a recent landmark court decision.