Frequently Asked Questions
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Q: Where is Kitselas in the Treaty Negotiation Stages?
A: In the six-stage BC Treaty Commission Treaty negotiation process, Kitselas is currently in Stage 5: Negotiation to Finalize a Treaty.
Q: What is a Final Agreement?
A: A Final Agreement is a Treaty. The Kitselas Final Agreement Treaty will be a negotiated agreement between the Kitselas First Nation, the Government of British Columbia and the Government of Canada that is finalized and approved by the Kitselas people. Kitselas is building a Treaty that is, and can be, adapted and renewed over time.
Q: What is the difference between a Final Agreement and a Treaty?
A: The term Final Agreement means the same as Treaty. In fact, we prefer to call it a Treaty because it will be reassessed every ten years and is not ‘final’.
Q: What is the difference between the Agreement in Principle (AIP) and the Treaty?
A: An AIP does not have as much detail as the Treaty and is not legally binding. Some topics are only negotiated after the AIP is approved. The AIP lays the groundwork for a Final Agreement. Once approved by the members, a Final Agreement is legally binding.
Q: Why Treaty?
A: Negotiating a Treaty offers one path towards self-governance and getting Kitselas out from under the Indian Act. Like other Native groups, the Kitselas were self-governing long before European contact. The Indian Act was passed in 1876 without the consultation or consent of the Native people. The Indian Act was developed to control almost every aspect of Native life and continues to dictate the way Native people are governed on-reserve. Self-governance will replace the Indian Act. It gives us the right to make laws, similar to the laws that provinces are able to make. It is also about setting up a government that is designed by the Kitselas people and approved by us. With self-governance, we will have more freedom to choose. The Kitselas people will be responsible for establishing a Constitution that will guide self-government.
Q: What is the Indian Act?
A: The Indian Act was developed to control almost every aspect of Native life and continues to dictate the way Native people are governed on-reserve. The Canadian Government passed the Indian Act in 1876 without consulting or getting consent from Native people.
Q: What happens if the Treaty is not approved?
A: If the Treaty is taken to a Referendum Vote and if the result of the vote is less than 50% in favour of the Treaty, then the Treaty will be rejected and the Kitselas Treaty negotiations will come to an end. The BC Treaty Commission has no process for continuing negotiations if Stage 5 fails.