Council of the Haida Nation View Regional Map

Council of the Haida Nation

Member Bands

Old Masset Village Council (formerly Massett Band)

Location
: Old Masset (also known as Haida Village) is approximately 5 km northwest of the village of Masset, on the east shore of Masset Sound, on Graham Island, Queen Charlotte Islands. (26 reserves on 907.7 hectares.)

Number of Band Members
: 2,698 (Source: Registered Indian Population by Sex and Residence November 2009, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada)

Skidegate Band Council

Location
: At Skidegate Mission, on the southeast corner of Graham Island, Queen Charlotte Islands. (11 reserves on 670.4 hectares.)

Number of Band Members
: 1,466 (Source: Registered Indian Population by Sex and Residence November 2009, 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 two member bands, Old Massett Village Council and Skidegate Band Council.

Location
:Both member bands are located on Graham Island on Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlotte Islands. Old Masset is located at the north end, near the town of Masset. Skidegate is on the southeast corner of the island, near Queen Charlotte City.

Total band members
: 4,164 (Source: Registered Indian Population by Sex and Residence November 2009, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada)

Negotiations

The Council of the Haida Nation entered the treaty process in December 1993. In April 2005, the Parties completed Stage 2 of the BCTC process, the determination of the readiness of the three parties - Canada, BC and the Council of the Haida Nation - to negotiate a treaty.

Other Activities

Land Use Planning

In April 2005, the Province and the Council of the Haida Nation signed a Letter of Understanding that set out interim consultation measures and included a commitment to negotiate longer-term agreements. Stemming from the Letter of Understanding, discussions took place to reach agreement on:
  • An interim consultation protocol on forestry activity.
  • Economic opportunities for the Haida through long-term forest tenure.
  • Interim protection of cultural cedar and wildlife habitat areas pending completion of a Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlotte Islands land use plan.

In addition to the Letter of Understanding discussions, the Integrated Land Management Bureau of the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands initiated the second phase of the Islands’ land use planning process. A community stakeholders group submitted its land use plan recommendations report to government and, as required in B.C.’s land use planning process, government-to-government talks to finalize the land use plan took place with the Council of the Haida Nation.

On December 12, 2007, a strategic land-use agreement (PDF, 5.39MB) was announced between British Columbia and the Council of the Haida Nation. Nearly half of the land base of Haida Gwaii will rest within protected areas as a result of the agreement. Highlights of the SLUA include:

  • A commitment to an economic timber opportunity of at least 800,000 cubic
    metres per year, to ensure continuation of sustainable forestry operations, and an agreement to develop a process that will inform the determination of the long-term timber supply for Haida Gwaii.
  • New protected areas to reflect ecological, cultural conservation,
    spiritual and recreation purposes, totalling 254,000 hectares to be managed collaboratively with the Province.
  • Identification of special value areas comprised of areas of critical
    nesting habitat for QC goshawk, saw-whet owl and great blue heron, to be designated as 100 per cent timber retention areas.
  • An operating area covering the remaining 501,436 ha or half of the land
    planning area.
  • A set of initial ecosystem-based management (EBM) objectives for forestry to be further tested and refined through detailed strategic planning before being legally established as requirements for timber harvesting.

In May 2008, The BC government passed legislation to create 11 new “Class A” provincial parks and 70 additional conservancies, including two new conservancies as a result of the Haida Gwaii land-use agreement.

In April 2009, BC provided $590,000 to the Council of the Haida Nation to support implementation of the SLUA reached in December 2007. The agreement was developed in parallel to an Economic Development Accord, which established the Misty Isles Economic Development Society with a $500,000 grant from the Province in 2008. These agreements allow for economic development opportunities in balance with strong environmental management for the Haida Gwaii region.

In October 2009, the B.C. government passed legislation that provides increased protection to nine conservancies, covering more than 111,000 hectares on Haida Gwaii.  The nine conservancies are a result of the Haida Gwaii land-use agreement with the Haida Nation.

Information on land-use initiatives for Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlotte Islands may be accessed at the following link:

Reconciliation Agreement

In December 2009, the Council of the Haida Nation and the BC Government signed a reconciliation protocol which builds on the success of the Strategic Land Use Agreement signed between B.C. and the Haida in 2007.  The model for shared decision-making negotiated in this protocol is founded upon the collaborative decision making that led to that agreement.

Forestry

In May 2006, the Ministry of Forests and Range temporarily suspended harvesting within new proposed protected areas as part of the process to reach a lasting land use plan for the area. Approximately 56,000 hectares of Crown land are affected by the designation enacted under Part 13 of B.C.’s Forest Act. The suspension of harvesting assists the Province in meeting its legal obligations to consult with the Haida on land and resource decisions that may affect their interests.

In October 2006, the Chief Forester temporarily reduced allowable annual cuts on the Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlotte Islands by a total of 424,500 cubic metres. The reductions followed orders-in-council that designated 83,000 hectares on the Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlotte Islands off-limits to timber harvesting and forest development activities while land-use planning is under way.

Social and Cultural Initiatives

In June 2006, a two-day signing ceremony on Haida Gwaii celebrated the Haida Nation becoming the 24th delegated Aboriginal Child and Family Services agency in British Columbia. The delegation enabling agreement (DEA) between the Haida Children and Family Service Society, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development gives the Haida Child and Family Services Society the authority to deliver designated child and family services to their community.

In July 2006, the Province contributed $4 million towards the Haida Heritage Centre at Qay’llnagaay (pronounced Kay-AL-nuh-guy) project to showcase Haida art and culture. The funding supported research, design and construction of cultural exhibits at the centre, which was completed in January 2007. The centre lies at the heart of a long-term economic development strategy developed by the Skidegate Band, which includes a resort hotel, golf course, RV park and cabins, and new opportunities for tour guides.

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.