Key Agreements – Cut-Off Claims
On November 4, 2008, The Province, Canada and First Nations celebrated the settlement of the remaining four 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.
The agreements brought a close to a difficult chapter in B.C.'s early history dating to the McKenna-McBride commission of 1912-1916. The commission, tasked with investigating the size of reserve land and making recommendations throughout the young province, expanded many reserves, but suggested lands could be cut off from others as long as the bands consented. However, lands were cut off from 22 bands without members' consent.
British Columbia, Canada, and First Nations began negotiations to resolve the cut-off claims in the 1970s. The Seton Lake Indian Band, Gitwangak Band Council, Metlakatla Band and Lax Kw'alaams Indian Band were the final four First Nations to conclude cut-off claim agreements and bring closure to a difficult period in B.C.'s history.
Settlement of the final four cut-off claims is further evidence of the Province's New Relationship with Aboriginal people across British Columbia. Through treaties and other agreements with First Nations, the Province is committed to closing the socio-economic gap that separates Aboriginal people from other British Columbians.
Commemorative Scroll recognizing the resolution of Cut-off claims with 22 BC First Nations - presented November 4, 2012
Seton Lake Indian Band Cut-Off Claim Agreement (PDF - 10.54 KB)
The agreement includes 12.8 hectares (31.6 acres) of provincial Crown land and $600,000 from Canada.
Gitwangak Band Council Cut-Off Claim Agreement (PDF - 7.01 KB)
The agreement includes 7.6 hectares (18.8 acres) of the original cut-off lands, along with financial compensation of $350,000 from Canada and the Province.
Metlakatla Band and Lax Kw'alaams Indian Band Cut-Off Claim Agreement (PDF - 11.55 MB)
The agreement includes provincial land parcels totalling 4,755 hectares (11,750 acres), as well as negotiation funding of $150,000 for each band, and an additional settlement of approximately $3,000 to Metlakatla. All but 10.5 hectares (26 acres) provided to the two First Nations is former reserve land.