Stages of Treaty

The following information contains the highlights from each chapter in the K’ómoks First Nation (KFN) Agreement In Principle (AIP). For more information please contact info@comoxband.ca

K'ómoks First Nation Agreement in Principle

-K’ómoks First Nation Agreement in Principal
Read AIP Summary 2010 Here

K'ómoks First Nation Capacity Development Plan: Just The Facts

Read Pamphlet Here

K'ómoks First Nation Economic Development: A Look at the Opportunities

Read Pamphlet Here

K'ómoks First Nation Taxation Guide: The Other Side of the Coin

Read Pamphlet Here

Contents

General Provisions

General Provisions

This chapter sets out the legal relationship between the three parties to the K’ómoks First Nation Treaty Agreement in Principle (AIP) and Final Agreement. The three parties are K’ómoks First Nation (KFN), British Columbia (BC), and Canada. The conditions of this chapter prevail over any conflict that may be found in other parts of the AIP and Final Agreement.

Highlights

  1. The AIP is not legally binding, but gives KFN, BC, and Canada a good idea of what a Final Agreement might look like.
  2. The Final Agreement is legally binding.
  3. The Final Agreement is made on behalf of all KFN people.
  4. There will be no more Indian Reserves.
  5. KFN members will not lose their Indian Status and will be entitled to programs and services provided by Indian Affairs.
  6. Federal and provincial laws will apply on KFN lands.
  7. Federal Charter of Rights and provincial Human Rights laws will apply on lands.
  8. KFN Members will continue to be eligible for programs and services that all other Canadians are entitled to.

Certainty

A basic goal of treaty is to provide certainty. Certainty means that ownership of lands and resources and that rights and relationships will be clear.

Highlights

  1. The Final Agreement is a full and final settlement between KFN, BC, and Canada.
  2. Aboriginal Rights will continue, as modified under the Treaty.
  3. The Final Agreement provides for the parties to meet and discuss “matters with respect to the implementation” of the Final Agreement.

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Governance

Self-Government

This chapter sets out KFN’s governance authorities. KFN will no longer be governed under the Indian Act. KFN will be responsible for making its own governance decisions. KFN will develop and adopt its own constitution and make its own laws.

Highlights

  1. KFN will have the right to self government.
  2. KFN will be its own legal entity.
  3. KFN will make its own laws.
  4. KFN will establish its own constitution.
  5. KFN will elect its own government.
  6. KFN will have the authority to create its own public institutions.
  7. KFN will provide non-members who live on TSL with access to KFN government for matters that directly affect them.
  8. Chief and Council of the day will remain in office for six months after Effective Date of the Treaty.
  9. A new election will take place no later than one year after the Effective Date.

KFN will have law-making authorities in the following areas:

  1. Election, administration, management, and operation of KFN government
  2. KFN membership
  3. Use, possession, management, and disposition of assets (e.g. Land Management, Financial Management)
  4. Adoptions
  5. Child Protection
  6. Aboriginal healers
  7. Health services
  8. Social services
  9. Liquor control
  10. Solemnization of marriages
  11. Child Care
  12. Language and Culture Education
  13. Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education
  14. Post Secondary Education
  15. Emergency Preparedness
  16. Regulation of Businesses
  17. Public Order, Peace and Safety
  18. Buildings and Structures
  19. Public Works

KFN may impose penalties or fines for breaches of its laws.

Local Government Relations

This chapter sets out the relationship that KFN will have with local governments. KFN will have a need to coordinate with the City of Courtenay, Town of Comox, and the Village of Cumberland for lands within the municipality, as well as with the Comox Valley Regional District.

Highlights

  • KFN will not be part of a municipality.
  • KFN will manage intergovernmental relations with local governments.
  • KFN may enter service agreements with either the City of Courtenay, Town of Comox, Village of Cumberland, or the Comox Valley Regional District.
  • KFN will harmonize land use planning with local governments for lands that touch a shared boundary between them.
  • KFN can choose to become a member of the Comox Valley Regional District.

Culture and Heritage

This chapter sets out provisions that relate to Culture and Heritage.

Highlights

  • KFN may make laws to preserve, protect, and develop KFN culture and KFN language.
  • KFN can make laws to protect Heritage Sites on KFN Lands.
  • BC commits to return KFN artifacts held in BC museums.
  • Canada commits to return significant KFN Artifacts held in Canadian museums
  • BC will enter into an agreement with KFN that provides KFN access to monumental cedars for cultural purposes (canoes, totem poles, longhouses, community buildings).
  • KFN may re–name geographical features in the KFN territory in accordance with provincial law.

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Lands

This chapter sets out the Lands that KFN will own once a treaty is accepted by the KFN community. KFN will own all of its current reserves. The land area will increase substantially.

Highlights

Land Area – KFN Lands

  • KFN will own 310.06 Hectares of Reserve Lands.
  • KFN will own 1726.13 Hectares of former BC Crown Lands.
  • KFN will own a total of 2036.19 Hectares of KFN Lands.
  • KFN will have the ability to “add” new lands in the future.

Land Ownership

  • KFN Lands will no longer be owned by Canada.
  • KFN will own land in “fee simple”, which means private lands.

Interests on KFN Lands

  • Existing tenures, such as mineral tenures, water licenses, and aquaculture, will continue.
  • KFN will own a large area of subsurface resources in Salmon River, in addition to the Treaty Lands.
  • BC will pay the costs of surveying the outside boundaries of Treaty Settlement Land (TSL).

Law–Making

  • KFN will have law-making authority on KFN Lands.
  • KFN will also have law-making on its foreshore similar to a local government, like the City of Courtenay.
  • KFN may create ownership interests for community members.
  • KFN will make land management laws.
  • KFN will be responsible for its own land management.

Subsurface

This chapter sets out how KFN will own and control the subsurface resources on our lands.

Highlights

  • K’ómoks First Nation will own and control all mineral resources and mineral royalties.
  • K’ómoks First Nation will be the only ones with the authority to set and collect fees, rents, royalties, and any other charges for any minerals which we will control on our lands.
  • The existing tenures will remain under the control and management of British Columbia.

Land Title

This chapter addresses the "registration" of land. Once KFN has fee simple ownership of KFN Lands, KFN may “register” lands in its own registry or use the provincial registry system.

Highlights of "registering" lands

  • When KFN individuals have a “registered” title to lands, they have a form of ownership that can be taken to a lender as a security deposit.
  • Registered lands can be bought and sold, and therefore have a significant value to the holder.
  • KFN members will be able to get mortgages.
  • Lenders will have a right to take possession of registered lands if loans fall into default.
  • KFN Laws will continue to apply on KFN Lands.

Access

This Chapter sets out how non-KFN people will continue to have access to KFN Lands to access their own properties surrounded by KFN Lands. It also sets out how KFN people will continue to have access to Crown Lands.

Highlights

  • KFN can create “private lands” within KFN Lands and the public cannot trespass on these KFN “private lands”.
  • KFN will allow non-KFN members to cross through KFN Lands to get to their properties, or tenures, if no reasonable access is available through crown lands.
  • KFN may regulate public access to KFN Lands; non-KFN Members may be required to have a “permit” from KFN.
  • KFN will allow Williams Beach forest trails to continue, and non-KFN Members will be allowed to use those trails, (so long as it does not interfere with KFN’s ability to authorize uses).
  • KFN will allow the Crown access to KFN Lands for specific purposes. (e.g. Road and power line maintenance).
  • The crown will allow KFN access to crown lands for specific purposes (e.g. Road and power line maintenance).

Roads and Rights of Way

This chapter sets out ownership of roads that pass through KFN Lands, the responsibilities for maintaining the roads, and provides for access to KFN Lands for purposes of repairing and maintaining the roads.

Highlights

  • KFN can make laws aimed at traffic, transportation, parking, and highways on KFN Lands.
  • KFN will allow access for maintenance personnel onto KFN Lands for purposes of repair and maintenance of roads.
  • BC will own main highways and forest service roads and will be responsible for the costs of upkeep and maintenance.
  • KFN will own roads in the KFN community and will be responsible for the costs of upkeep and maintenance.
  • BC will pay compensation to KFN for any damage resulting from repair and maintenance work.
  • BC will consult with KFN before major road construction projects are undertaken.
  • KFN will issue new authorizations for hydro and telephone services with the road right of ways.
  • Utility maintenance personnel will have access to KFN Lands for purposes of upkeep and maintenance
  • Utilities will be able to provide usual service extensions to new homes on KFN Lands

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Resource Harvesting Rights

Fisheries

This chapter sets out the KFN right to fish. KFN will have a treaty right to fish for the full range of species that KFN has fished historically. However, all treaty negotiations regarding fish are put on hold by the federal government until further notice.

Highlights

  • KFN will have a treaty right to fish for food.
  • The right will exist inside a Fishing Area.
  • KFN may enter into protocol agreements with our neighboring nations to fish in their territories.
  • Some species will be allocated. There will be a limit to the number that can be fished.
  • Some species will not be allocated. There will not be a limit to the numbers we can fish.
  • There will be a process for creating new allocations.
  • KFN will have a right to trade and barter its food fish.
  • KFN will have commercial licenses contained in a Harvest Agreement.

KFN is also seeking a Shellfish Aquaculture Interim Measures Agreement that will include geoduck licenses, shellfish harvesting areas set aside specifically for the KFN, and revenue-sharing.

Wildlife

This Chapter sets out the KFN right to hunt. KFN will have a treaty right to hunt wildlife.

Highlights

  • KFN will have a treaty right to hunt.
  • The right will exist inside a Wildlife Harvest area.
  • All KFN Members may exercise the right.
  • KFN can create laws to designate its hunters.
  • KFN may enter into protocol agreements with neighboring First Nations.
  • KFN may trade and barter wildlife.
  • KFN may sell wildlife, in accordance with federal and provincial laws.
  • KFN Members can access conventional hunting licenses providing access to hunting grounds beyond the Wildlife Harvest Area.

Migratory Birds

This chapter sets out the KFN right to harvest Migratory Birds (ducks and geese).

Highlights

  • KFN will have a treaty right to hunt ducks and geese for food.
  • The right will exist inside a Migratory Bird Harvest Area.
  • KFN may enter into protocol agreements with neighboring First Nations.
  • The right is limited by actions necessary for conservation, public health, and public safety.
  • KFN can trade and barter migratory birds.
  • KFN can sell migratory birds according to federal and provincial laws.

Gathering Rights

This chapter sets out the KFN right to gather plants within KFN traditional territory.

Highlights

  • KFN will have a right to gather plants for medicinal, cultural, and food uses.
  • BC will continue to authorize uses on Crown Lands, so long as KFN is not denied the reasonable opportunity to gather plants.
  • KFN may provide a harvesting plan to BC regarding rights.

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Resource Management

Parks and Planning

This chapter sets out the role that KFN will have in planning on lands outside of KFN Lands.

Highlights

  • KFN will have a role outside KFN Lands within the traditional territories.
  • BC will consult with KFN before decisions concerning resource management and development are made.
  • KFN will have the right to participate in public planning processes.
  • KFN will have the benefit of shared decision-making commitments that may develop out of a “New Relationship” initiative.

Environmental Assessment and Protection

This chapter sets out KFN participation in the development of major projects in the KFN territories. KFN will have the right to participate in Environmental Assessments, which will provide KFN with a role in protecting our environment.

Highlights

  • No federal or provincial project will take place on KFN lands without the consent of KFN.
  • KFN will have a right to participate in environmental assessments for federal or provincial projects that may take place inside a specific area.
  • KFN will have the ability to make laws to protect the environment on KFN Lands.

Forest Resources

This chapter sets out KFN ownership of Forest Resources.

Highlights

  • KFN will own all Forest Resources on KFN Lands.
  • Forest Resources includes more than trees; everything that grows in the forest. (i.e.: mushrooms, salal, medicinal plants, cultural plants).
  • KFN has the exclusive authority to impose stumpages, rents, royalties for Forest Resources on KFN Lands.
  • KFN may make laws for forest practices and standards. The standards will meet or exceed those of the province.
  • KFN can export logs, in accordance with Federal law.
  • KFN is responsible for Forest Health and Wildfire Suppression.
  • KFN will enter into a Wildfire Suppression Agreement that limits the scope of financial liability for wildfires that start on KFN Lands.
  • In addition to forest resources on KFN Lands, KFN is seeking a forest tenure in the amount of 100,000 cubic meters annually.
  • KFN will have access to monumental cedar for cultural purposes (canoes, poles, longhouses, community buildings).

Water

This chapter sets out KFN access to fresh water. KFN will have constitutionally protected access to water. Water will be vital to KFN’s development into the future.

There are currently major water licenses held by non-KFN interests. It is vital for KFN to protect our share of water resources.

Highlights

  • KFN will have a water reservation providing access to 10,245 cubic decameters of fresh water (enough to supply 50 thousand people with their annual water supply).
  • Additional water rights will be negotiated on the Salmon River.
  • The water sources will be from streams flowing through KFN Lands; Puntledge River, Trent River, Oyster River, and Hart Creek.
  • KFN will have protected access to ground water on KFN lands

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Fiscal Relations

Fiscal Relations

This chapter sets out the commitment for governments to provide Fiscal Financing Agreements (FFAs) to KFN. FFAs will replace annual funding agreements between INAC and KFN. The chapter makes it clear that funding of existing programs and services and access to funds for infrastructure will continue.

Highlights

  • Canada will provide KFN FFAs in 5 year intervals.
  • The FFA covers costs to run programs and services ordinarily provided by KFN.
  • The FFA includes an off–set rate, which means KFN will pay a share of its own programs and services costs.

Capital Transfer and Negotiation Loan Repayment

This chapter sets out the commitment for governments to provide the Capital Transfer Fund, and also deals with the negotiating loan repayment.

Highlights

  • Canada will provide KFN with Capital Transfer Payments totaling $17.5 million.
  • $2.5 million of the Capital Transfer are targeted at capacity and economic development.
  • $4 million of the Capital Transfer was suggested to purchase additional lands or tenures.
  • The payments may be provided in installments over ten years or in one lump sum:
  • The first installment would be on Effective Date.
  • The next nine installments would be in annual intervals.
  • KFN will re-pay negotiation loans in ten equal installments:
  • The first installment will be on Effective Date.
  • The next nine installments will be in annual intervals.

Taxation

This chapter sets out the taxation authority of the KFN Government. Transaction taxes and property taxes will come into effect in years 8 and 12.

Highlights

  • KFN will have direct taxation authority for KFN Members on KFN Lands.
  • KFN will enter into taxation agreements with BC and Canada.
  • BC and Canada will have the ability to re-enter tax room vacated through side agreements.
  • KFN may enter into taxation agreements that apply to non-KFN people inside of KFN Lands.
  • KFN may enter into agreements with BC and Canada where taxes are collected on behalf of KFN and returned to KFN.
  • Transaction taxes will become payable 8 years after Effective Date.
  • All other taxes will become payable 12 years after Effective Date.
  • KFN will enter into a tax treatment agreement on Effective Date.

Key Points

  • KFN will have the ability to generate revenue from KFN Lands.
  • KFN may be able to use revenues from taxation for improving programs and services for KFN Members.

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Procedures

Approval of Agreement in Principle (AIP)

This chapter sets out the process for approving the AIP.

Highlights

  • The chief negotiators for the Parties will jointly recommend in writing to the approval of this Agreement.
  • The KFN will have approved this Agreement when it is signed by the Chief and Council, after a community Agreement in Principle vote.
  • British Columbia will have approved this Agreement when it is signed by a Minister authorized by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
  • Canada will have approved this Agreement when it is signed by a Minister authorized to do so by the Federal Cabinet.

Dispute Resolution

This chapter sets out provisions that relate to how disputes or disagreements between KFN, BC, and Canada that may arise in the future.

Highlights

  • The Parties agree to a process for resolving disagreements that may arise in the future.
  • The dispute resolution process is limited to disputes respecting the interpretation, application, or implementation of the Final Agreement.
  • Disagreements will go through stages: (i) collaborative negotiations, (ii) facilitated processes, (iii) adjudication – arbitration.
  • The parties will pay their own respective costs.

Eligibility and Enrolment

This chapter sets out rules and criteria for KFN people to “enroll” to become KFN Members. All people of KFN ancestry will be eligible to enroll. KFN people will need to be “enrolled” to become a beneficiary and to be eligible to vote.

Highlights

A person is eligible to be enrolled under the Final Agreement if that person is:

  1. A person with KFN ancestry from their mother or father.
  2. A band member listed or entitled to be listed as a band member on the KFN Band list under the Indian Act as of the day before the Effective Date.
  3. A descendant of a person above in a or b.
  4. An adopted child of a person above in a, b or c.
  5. A person who has been adopted under the K’omoks First Nation custom.

Implementation

This chapter sets out a plan for implementing the treaty. The implementation plan will have a term of ten years.

Highlights

  • The implementation plan identifies the obligations of each Party, the responsibilities, and the timeframe for completion.
  • The plan can be changed or extended.
  • An Implementation Committee will be formed with representatives from KFN, BC, and Canada and will oversee the implementation of the Final Agreement.

Indian Act Transition

This chapter sets out the changes that will come into effect once treaty is completed. KFN will no longer be an Indian Act Band and will have a much broader range of responsibilities.

Highlights

  • Wills and Estates covered under the Indian Act will continue for members who may pass away prior to the Effective Date.
  • Canada will provide information to all KFN members on the new process for wills.
  • The KFN Land Code will remain in effect for 90 days after the Effective Date.
  • The KFN Land Code will be replaced with a new set of Land Management Laws.
  • All of the rights, titles, interests, assets, obligations, and liabilities of the Comox Indian Band will be transferred to KFN.

Ratification

This chapter sets out the process for approving the Final Agreement.

Highlights

  • The Final Agreement will be initialed by the Chief Negotiators.
  • KFN Members will vote on the Final Agreement.
  • The approval will require 50% plus one of eligible voters.
  • The KFN Constitution will also go to a community vote.
  • KFN will form a Ratification Committee with reps from KFN, BC, and Canada.
  • The Ratification Committee will establish and publish its procedures.
  • The Committee will prepare and publish an official voters list.
  • The Committee will approve the form and content of the ballots before the Ratification Vote starts.
  • Voters will need to be 18 years of age in order to vote.
  • BC and Canada will provide funding for the Ratification Committee.
  • The Final Agreement is ratified by BC when it is authorized by the Provincial Cabinet and signed by a Minister.
  • The Final Agreement is ratified by Canada when it is authorized by the Federal Cabinet and signed by a Minister.