In the New Relationship, we committed to a new government‐to‐government relationship based on respect, recognition and accommodation of aboriginal title and rights and to reconciliation of Aboriginal and Crown titles and jurisdictions. We also agreed to develop new institutions or structures to negotiate government‐ to‐government agreements for shared decision‐making about land use planning, management, tenuring and resource revenue and benefit sharing.
Notably, the New Relationship also acknowledges that aboriginal title includes the inherent right for the community to make decisions as to the use of the land and that these inherent rights flow from First Nations’ historical and sacred relationship with their territories.
Pursuant to the New Relationship, the First Nations Leadership Council and the Province of British Columbia are undertaking work at a high level to develop frameworks and create tools to assist the Province and BC First Nations to implement the New Relationship. During the development of the framework and tools, the Leadership Council and the Province support the efforts of First Nations, local governments, resource companies and businesses to continue community‐level engagement. In fact, these community‐level negotiations provide valuable insights and guidance to our broader discussions.
The First Nations Leadership Council and the Province of British Columbia respect First Nations’ autonomy and recognize that First Nations are the holders of Aboriginal title and rights. We agreed to a new government‐to‐government relationship that respects and supports the authority of First Nations to enter into negotiations and agreements to suit the unique circumstances of the community.
The purpose of the New Relationship is to bring about policy changes and set a course forward that will be of benefit to all First Nations and to British Columbia as a whole.
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