Tahltan Central Government and the Province entered into the first consent-based decision-making agreement under the Declaration Act in June 2022.
This agreement honours Tahltan’s jurisdiction in land-management decisions in Tahltan Territory, in recognition of Tahltan’s title and rights within its territory. The agreement advances reconciliation as well as provides clarity and predictability for the Eskay Creek Revitalization Project.
The shíshálh Nation and the Province started negotiations on the first joint decision-making agreement to be negotiated under section 7 of the Declaration Act in August 2022.
The agreement, when negotiated, will apply to decisions on dock tenures in the shíshálh swiya (territory/birthplace/world) and builds upon the current model for making shared decisions on dock tenures created in 2018.
The negotiation of section 7 agreements under the Declaration Act demonstrates a structured and intentional approach towards reconciliation. Whether joint or consent-based, these agreements help address the legacy of colonialism by allowing the Province to work together with Indigenous Peoples on decisions that affect them to further reconciliation. Legislative amendments are often required for these agreements to be operationalized.
- Number of active negotiations: Two Indigenous governing bodies actively negotiating joint decision-making and consent agreements under section 7 of the Declaration Act.
- Number of legislative amendments: Two legislative amendments made to enable implementation of joint decision-making and consent agreements under section 7 of the Declaration Act during the fiscal year. Legislative amendments were made to the Child, Family and Community Service Act and the Adoption Act.
How are we working together?
Negotiation of section 7 agreements is a collaborative process with Indigenous governing bodies that involves ongoing engagement. In addition, the Province has been working with the First Nations Leadership Council and Alliance of BC Modern Treaty Nations on the approach to the negotiation and implementation of section 7 agreements. Exploratory discussions are underway with other Indigenous governing bodies interested in developing section 7 agreements and are expected to result in additional mandated negotiations.
Are there challenges?
Considerable progress is being made in negotiations and the Province is advancing agreements that share statutory decision-making with Indigenous governing bodies. Although the Declaration Act establishes the space for negotiating section 7 agreements, statutory amendments may be required for these agreements to be implemented. This work takes time, cross-government alignment, and consultation and co-operation with Indigenous Peoples.