Treaty FAQsAs the NStQ treaty table prepares to enter Final Negotiations (Stage 5), we endeavor to keep NStQ members as updated and informed as possible. Here s a sampling of answers to some of the Frequently Asked Questions. Q:What is happening at the Treaty table? A:The provincial and federal governments are posed to finally sign our Agreement-in-Principle (AiP). That will trigger the start of the Final Agreement negotiations this summer. After so many years of hard work by many members of NStQ, we believe the nation is ready to move quickly toward a Final Agreement. Input from NStQ members will be vital to reaching that goal. And NStQ members will have that final say in vote on the Final Agreement at the end of this process. Q:What is this costing us? A: When NStQ set out on the path to self-government, Canada provided the funds in the form of loans that were expected to be paid back upon reaching a Final Agreement. NStQ agreed to this. This year (2018), Canada eliminated loan funding and is now providing those funds as grants. NStQ has also been assured that the $30 Million spent so far s being eliminated. Those funds will NOT have to be repaid to Canada! The loan issue is a huge victory for NStQ and other nations who have been steadfast at the treaty table – that they not pay to negotiate back lands that were taken from them illegally. Q:What is being negotiated? A: Under British Columbia’s “modern treaty process” NStQ, Canada or BC may introduce any issue at the negotiation table which it views as significant. Although our treaty negotiation is unique and our Final Agreement will be unique, there are some common elements among final treaties. Each one includes:
- First Nations government structures and related financial arrangements jurisdiction and ownership of lands, waters and resources cash settlements.
- For NStQ, those important issues include:
- Funds to improve and add to our Housing inventory
- Shared governance of Fisheries Jurisdiction over Children & Families services
- Treaties also establish processes for resolving disputes and making changes to the treaty in future.
- For those living on TSL lands, if the agreement passes, they will be living on lands owned and wholly under the jurisdiction of NStQ government. The laws and policies of the NStQ government will apply on those lands and NStQ will deliver services to NStQ citizens.
- For those living outside TSL lands who choose to ‘’opt out” of the Treaty, all of their current programs and services under the Indian Act will continue – including tax-exempt status.
- For those living outside TSL lands who choose to “opt in” to the Treaty, it is the intention of NStQ to provide services to citizens wherever they live. It is our intention to negotiate funding to provide that support to outside-of-nation citizens. It is also our intention to leverage the economic opportunities that come with owning our own lands to raise own-source funds for services and support to all NStQ citizens wherever they may live.
- We welcome your questions and suggestions. Please contact the SXFN Treaty Office.
The Memorial to Sir Wilfrid Laurier
“We demand that our land question be settled, and ask that treaties be made between the government and each of our tribes, in the same manner as accomplished with the Indian tribes of the other provinces of Canada, and in the neighboring parts of the United States. We desire that every matter of importance to each tribe be a subject of treaty, so we may have a definite understanding with the government on all questions of moment between us and them.”
-The Chiefs of the Shuswap, Okanagan and Couteau or Thompson tribes