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Gitxsan Treaty Society

Member Bands

Gitanmaax Band Council
Location
:At the confluence of the Skeena and Bulkley Rivers, adjacent to the village of Hazelton and 5 km west of New Hazelton, in northwestern B.C. (Five reserves on 2,345.5 hectares.)

Number of Band Members: 2,066 (Source: Registered Indian Population by Sex and Residence December 2006, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada)

Gitsegukla Indian Band (formerly Kitsegugkla
)
Location
:On the east bank of the Skeena River, 34 km west of New Hazelton, in northwestern B.C. (Four reserves on 1,930.5 hectares.)

Number of Band Members: 881 (Source: Registered Indian Population by Sex and Residence December 2006, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada)

Gitwangak Band Council (also Kitwanga)

Location
: Northwest bank of the Skeena River, 120 km northeast of Terrace, in northwestern B.C. (Seven reserves on 1,564.3 hectares.)

Number of Band Members: 1,091 (Source: Registered Indian Population by Sex and Residence December 2006, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada)

Glen Vowell Indian Band

Location
: West bank of the Skeena River, 12 km north of Hazelton and 4 km south of the Kispiox River, in northwestern B.C. (One reserve on 512.3 hectares.)

Number of Band Members: 387 (Source: Registered Indian Population by Sex and Residence December 2006, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada)

Kispiox Band Council

Location
: At the confluence of the Skeena and Kispiox Rivers, 16 km north of Hazelton, in northwestern B.C. (Ten reserves on 1,685 hectares.)

Number of Band Members: 1,443 (Source: Registered Indian Population by Sex and Residence December 2006, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada)

Background

Negotiating status
: Negotiating a comprehensive treaty settlement within the British Columbia Treaty Commission six-stage treaty process.

Negotiating affiliation
: Negotiating on behalf of its member bands.

Location
: The member bands are located in valleys along the Skeena, Bulkley and Kispiox Rivers. All are within a 40 km radius of Hazelton, in northwestern B.C.

Total band members
:5,403 (Source: Registered Indian Population by Sex and Residence 2001, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada)

Negotiations

The Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs entered the treaty process in June 1994, and are now in Stage 4 of the six-stage process, negotiating an agreement in principle.

British Columbia suspended negotiations with the Gitxsan in February 1996 because of the recommencement of the Delgamuukw appeal in the Supreme Court of Canada. (The Supreme Court's decision, handed down in 1997, confirmed the existence of Aboriginal title in B.C., and recognized this title as being a right to the land itself, not just the right to hunt, fish and gather.)

The Gitxsan re-engaged in tripartite treaty negotiations in March 2001, when British Columbia lifted its suspension. The parties are focusing on fish, language and culture, dispute resolution, approval of agreement in principle and ratification.

Other Activities

The Gitxsan receive economic development funding from the provincial government for two projects:
  • Stewart Omineca Resource Road

    A total of $400,00 in funding over three years will facilitate full participation in the development of the Stewart Omineca Resource Road proposal including: participation in meetings; heritage, archaeological and environmental assessments of the proposed route; and, identification and negotiation of potential economic benefits. The road would stimulate economic development of mineral, forestry, tourism and energy resources by providing a more efficient movement of goods to market. ($400,000 over three years: $150,000 - 2002/03; $120,000 - 2003/04; $130,000 - 2004/05)

  • Forest Tenure Feasibility Study / Business Plan

    A total of $50,000 in funding over two years will support the First Nation in developing a business plan for non-replaceable forest tenures under section 47.3 of the Forest Act. The business plan will identify aspects relating to the harvesting of the forest licence. The negotiation of accommodation measures involving forest tenures is part of the First Nation Forestry Strategy (FNFS). The FNFS is a component of the Province's Forestry Revitalization Plan. This project is a component of the approved three-year concept proposal Forest Tenure Business and Partnership Development submitted by the Ministry of Forests in May 2002.

In June 2003, the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs and Minister of Forests signed a forestry revenue sharing agreement committing the Gitxsan and the Province to negotiate a short-term forestry agreement for a non-replaceable forest licence of up to 1.2 million cubic metres over seven years and sharing of up to $2.6 million in annual forestry revenues. The timber for the forest licence would come from "undercut" or unlogged timber in the Kispiox timber supply area. In summer 2004, the province announced increased funding to protect valuable forest and range land from the effects of non-native plants and weeds. The increased funding will support a number of new invasive plant control projects province wide including a noxious weed management inventory and assessment in the Mid-Skeena Watershed of the Gitxsan Nation.

On November 4, 2008, The Province, Canada and the Gitwangak Band Council celebrated the settlement of the remaining cut-off claims in British Columbia. Cut-off claims were the direct result of lands being removed from, or cut off of, Indian reserves in British Columbia in the early days of European settlement. For more information about the event, click here.

Planned Meetings

As dates are established for open public meetings, they will be publicized through the local media and posted on the B.C. Treaty Commission website Negotiations Calendar.