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Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Booklet 5 -Kitsumkalum Lands

 

Ownership

Once the Final Agreement is in effect, the people of Kitsumkalum will become registered owner of all Treaty Settlement Lands (TSL). The boundary of Kitsumkalum Treaty Settlement Lands (Kitsumkalum Lands) will be surveyed and staked on the ground by British Columbia. Provincial Crown Land will be transferred to Kitsumkalum by BC, and Reserve Lands will be transferred to Kitsumkalum by Canada. Kitsumkalum Lands will be 454 square kilometres. This is 100 times bigger than our Kitsumkalum Reserves which is a total of 4 and half square kilometres. 

We can pass laws that will allow us to transfer our lands to be privately owned or leased by a Kitsumkalum member or someone else, and we do not need permission from Canada or BC to do so. If we do transfer our lands to be privately owned, we will register them with BC's Land Title Office first. Whoever land is transferred to, the land will always remain Kitsumkalum Lands under our authority, which means our laws and land use zone will still apply and all taxes will come to Kitsumkalum.

Submerged Lands

We will not own submerged land (lake and river bottoms) that is within the Treaty Settlement Lands, such as the land under Kitsumkalum Lake. The exception to this is any submerged land that is part of our Reserves. For example, part of the Skeena and Kitsumkalum rivers are within the Kitsumkalum Reserve boundary and will become part of the Kitsumkalum Treatu Settlement Lands. 

BC will continue to own the submerged land, but they will need our consent before they will allow someone to occupy or use that land.

Site Remdiation on Kitsumkalum Lands

If any of the land transferred to Kitsumkalum as Treaty Settlement Lands is contaminated, BC will cover the cost of environmental cleanup if Kitsumkalum wants to use the land.

Kitsumkalum Members: Interest in Land

Since the Indian Act will no longer apply, any existing Certificates of Possession will have to be reissued to make sure the owners are protected. Anyone who had a Certificate of Possession on a Kitsumkalum Indian Reserve will continue to have the same rights to his or her land after the Final Agreement is in effect.

Addition to the Kitsumkalum Lands

If we buy other lands within the Kitsumkalum Area (shown in the above map), and Canada and BC agree, these lands can be added to the Kitsumkalum Lands, giving us authority over them. If there were other interest on these new lands, such as a right of way, which are held by other people, those people will continue to hold those interests.

Existing Interests

Canada and BC authority over the land will end on the effective date and Kitsumkalum authority will be begin. All existing interests will be removed from the Land on the day the Final Agreement is in effect. Some of the interests that are in place today will need to continue, so they will be replace by Kitsumkalum Government. For example, there are existing powerline on Kitsumkalum Lands. these will still be operated by BC Hydro so we will grant BC Hydro a right of way for the exisiting powerline. CP's created under the Indian Act will be reissued under the Kitsumkalum's Government's authority. Any leases, easements or ownership certificates created under the Land Management Act will be reissued.

Commercial Recreation Tenure

The treaty team is still negotiating for commercial recreation tenures that will be issued to Kitsumkalum once the Final Agreement is in effect.

Law Making Authority

Our government will have the authority to make laws to manage Kitsumkalum Lands. The Kitsumkalum Government will create a law that could be called the Kitsumkalum Land Act. Because land management is a vital part of overal management this law could be developed using the Land Management Act process current proposed by the Kitsumkalum Band Council. The law would be used:

  • to establish a Kitsumkalum a resource management department
  • to establish land management and land use planning procedures, and standards for development on Kitsumkalum Lands;
  • to designate certain Kitsumkalum Lands as private, parks, recreation or leave them all as public lands;
  • to establish procedures to allocate or create other interests in our lands
  • to create our own land registry system for our lands or create methods to use the existing Provincial Lant Title System; or
  • to create procedure and rules for expropriation by our Government for Kitsumkalum lands needed for roads, sewer or water lines, and other public puposes.
Administration and Policy
We will have a staff that will administer the Kitsumkalum Lands Act. To do this effectively, our government will need to develop policies based on the Act to guide administration staff. These policies could be developed and tested to see if they work using the proposed Land Management Act process for managing reserve lands.