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Treaty Commission Releases 2020 Annual Report

Press Release

November 24, 2020

VANCOUVER – The BC Treaty Commission is pleased to release its 2020 Annual Report. This past year, despite unprecedented global challenges, has culminated in advancements for rights recognition and reconciliation in British Columbia.

Two key milestones this year were the implementation of Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (Declaration Act) and the final steps to eliminate all outstanding First Nation comprehensive claims negotiation debts across Canada. BC made history as the first jurisdiction in Canada, and one of the first jurisdictions in the world, to enact legislation aimed at aligning its laws with the standards outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration).

While the Government of Canada works towards tabling similar legislation, it is crucial that British Columbians and Canadians remember that we all have a role in reconciliation and in creating a more equitable sharing of power between the Crown and Indigenous peoples.

“Indigenous sovereignty,” says Chief Commissioner Celeste Haldane, “is a foundational principle of Indigenous rights. Reconciliation requires a sharing of power – a sharing of sovereignty – between Indigenous Nations and the Crown. The negotiation of treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements can accomplish this.”

“By negotiating the sharing of government powers and authorities, the parties can achieve the goals and commitments of the new Rights Recognition Policy, the commitments to implement the UN Declaration, and each government’s respective commitments to reconciliation” says Haldane.

Quick Facts:

  • The BC Treaty Commission’s mandate includes supporting negotiating Parties in implementing the UN Declaration, the TRC Calls to Action, the Principles Respecting theGovernment of Canada’s Relationship with Indigenous Peoples, and the recognition of First Nations title and rights.
  • Recognition and Reconciliation of Rights Policy for Treaty Negotiations in British Columbia was endorsed by Canada, BC, and the First Nations Summit in September 2019
  • In November 2019, the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (Bill 41) received Royal Assent in British Columbia.
  • The BC Treaty Commission 2020 Annual Report is available at



Mark Smith / Director of Process / [email protected]


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