The B.C. government is building relationships with Aboriginal people and communities. It is working with First Nations and Aboriginal community leaders to focus on closing the socio-economic gaps that separate Aboriginal people from other British Columbians, and building a province where everyone can fully participate in a prosperous economy.
The B.C. government’s goals of restoring, revitalizing and strengthening First Nations communities will only be achieved with the participation of Aboriginal leaders and organizations.
In 2005, the B.C. government and the First Nations Leadership Council entered into a New Relationship based on three things:
- Respect, recognition and accommodation of Aboriginal title and rights
- Respect for each other's laws and responsibilities
- The reconciliation of Aboriginal and Crown titles and jurisdictions
The New Relationship is a vision for improved government‑to‑government relations with First Nations. The New Relationship Accord, a groundbreaking document, suggests new processes and structures for working together on decisions about the use of land and resources. It also discusses revenue-sharing to reflect Aboriginal rights and title interests, and to help First Nations with economic development.
- Read the New Relationship vision (PDF)
Supporting the New Relationship
The B.C. government works closely with First Nations, Métis, Inuit and non-status Aboriginals, and the Government of Canada to
- Improve relationships
- Support communities
- Share the benefits of B.C. for all British Columbians
These efforts are demonstrated through government initiatives to improve the lives of Aboriginal people and to build healthier communities that benefit all British Columbians.
In particular, the Transformative Change Accord and the Métis Nation Relationship Accord documents provide a mandate and framework for this work.
Both accords identify the mutual goals of government and Aboriginal leadership to close the gap in the quality of life between Aboriginal people and other British Columbians. Ministries work together – and in partnership with Aboriginal leadership, organizations and communities – to meet accountabilities set out in these Accords.
Great change can come about from the New Relationship – change that benefits all British Columbians. Putting the vision into action takes cooperation from many groups across the Province. Discussions related to the New Relationship are underway that include engagement with First Nations and leaders from industry, local governments, and other key stakeholders.
The New Relationship has produced positive outcomes on many fronts:
- As of July 2013, eight First Nations have completed final treaty agreements and several other First Nations are working toward final agreements. Discussions continue with the First Nations Leadership Council and First Nations around B.C. to determine the way forward on the journey to reconciliation.
- B.C. is the first Canadian province to introduce Incremental Treaty Agreements as a way of helping First Nations on the road to treaty.
- The Province has been working in partnership with First Nations through a range of mechanisms, such as joint land-use agreements, revenue-sharing, and economic benefit agreements that directly affect communities across B.C.