Participants in the Treaty Process
At the negotiation table
There are three participants in – or parties to – each treaty negotiation table:
Each party is represented by a negotiating team.
The BC treaty process is open to all First Nations in the province. It is up to First Nations to decide how they will organize themselves for the purposes of treaty negotiations. So at some tables, there is a single First Nation represented, while at others there may be two or more. Currently there are 42 tables negotiating tables in the BC treaty process.
Negotiators for British Columbia represent the interests of all British Columbians.
Overseeing the treaty process
In 1991, the British Columbia Claims Task Force, which established the BC treaty process, recommended the creation of a British Columbia Treaty Commission to facilitate the negotiation process.
The BC Treaty Commission is an impartial body consisting of a chair, or chief commissioner, and four commissioners, of whom two are appointed by the First Nations Summit, and one each by the federal and provincial governments.
The roles of the treaty commission are to ensure that the process is fair and impartial, that all parties have sufficient resources to do the job, and that the parties work effectively to reach agreements.
To achieve this, the BC Treaty Commission:
- facilitates the process of negotiation;
- allocates funding (primarily in the form of loans) to negotiating First Nations so they can prepare for and carry out negotiations with the governments of B.C and Canada;
- provides the public with information about the treaty process and issues.