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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

Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Photo by Birgitte Bartlett

Photo by Birgitte Bartlett


Please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions Section for answers to commonly asked questions. The treaty team will update and add to this list of frequently ask questions, and in the meantime check out our RAQ’s section for Recently Asked Questions. Questions have been collected from various community meetings and from our members. If you have any further questions please email us at

  1. What is an AIP?

    The Agreement-in-Principle or AIP provides much of the details of what will be included in the Final Agreement. If the Kitsumkalum members vote “Yes,” we will move on to Final Agreement negotiations. More land and other assets may be added during that time.

  2. Is the AIP a Treaty?

    No. The AIP provides us with the mandate to move towards a Final Agreement.

  3. Do we lose our Aboriginal rights?

    No. We do not give up our Aboriginal rights. Aboriginal rights will not be extinguished. We will also continue to be eligible for all programs and services available to all Aboriginal people, and we will continue to be status Indians.

  4. If the AIP is just a framework, what will be added to the Final Agreement?

    The AIP is more than a framework because it deals with almost all aspects of what will be in the Final Agreement. However, it lacks some of the detail, and some of the Chapters have not been dealt with. In particular:

    • Fish: Currently, Kitsumkalum negotiators have told BC and Canada that without this, there will be no Final Agreement. Negotiations are currently on hold until the conclusion of the Cohen Commission Inquiry, which is expected to end this summer.
    • Fiscal Arrangements: This is about the annual transfers of funding to Kitsumkalum for ongoing programs and services. This is not negotiated until after the AIP is approved.
    • Resource Revenue Sharing: This is in regards to revenues that other companies earn by taking advantage of resources within Kitsumkalum’s traditional territory. Negotiators will seek a share of these revenues during Final Agreement negotiations.
  5. What is different about our Treaty (as opposed to the Nisga’a)?

    The Nisga’a Agreement and our AIP cover many of the same topics. This is because both Canada and BC were involved in the Nisga’a negotiations and the issues are very similar. The big issue between the parties, - settling the land claim, is the same. We have had the opportunity of learning from the Nisga’a.

    We have also been able to make some improvements of the Nisga’a Final Agreement. For example, the land and cash we receive is more on a per capita basis than the Nisga’a received. Also, the Nisga’a did not include “gathering rights” in their Final Agreement, and this is has been included in our AIP. There is also no “Revenue Sharing” in the Nisga’a Final Agreement, and we intend to include a Revenue Sharing Chapter in our Final Agreement.

    There are also numerous areas where the drafting has improved. For example, under the Nisga’a Wildlife Chapter, the Nisga’a must provide to governments each year, a plan of what species they intend to harvest. We fought very hard against this and now our AIP does not have that requirement.

    We have also heard that there were some difficulties when it came time to implement the Nisga’a Treaty, and we will be meeting with the Nisga’a to learn from them about these and other issues.

  6. What are the pros and cons of the Treaty?

    This is a large question and short answers do not provide sufficient information. Individuals should read all the materials available and make up their own minds. However, most fundamentally, the Treaty will provide:

    • full ownership of large amounts of lands and greater access to resources
    • continued access to our traditional territory
    • newer and better fiscal arrangements including a cash transfer
    • a huge opportunity to fundamentally change the way we govern ourselves under our own laws and constitution.

    The biggest downside of the Treaty is the loss of the Section 87 tax exemption and, for some, the “comfort” of living under the Indian Act.

  7. In what way can Treaty be a vehicle to move us towards greater independence, prosperity and self-reliance?

    The Indian Act is a big hindrance to self-reliance, independence and prosperity. Under the Indian Act, we do not own any of our reserve lands, they are owned by Canada. Without property ownership, it is difficult to become prosperous. A Treaty will give us ownership of lands and resources that will be used as a tool for economic development.

    Under the Indian Act, there are also restrictions around the use and development of reserve lands. The Treaty will give us greater “control and power” over our lands and resources and allow us to develop them the way we choose, and when we choose.

    Most importantly, we will become truly self-governing. With the greater lands and resources available to us, and with self-government, we will then have the tools to become more self-reliant.

  8. What will be done to ensure that education is addressed in the Treaty?

    Under the AIP there are several sections dealing with education. Most importantly, Kitsumkalum will have the right to make its own education laws for K-12 as well as for post-secondary institutions, as well as the right to make laws for the teaching of Kitsumkalum culture. In addition, through Treaty Kitsumkalum is attempting to establish an Education and Training Fund that will be available for all members.

  9. Will we have Aboriginal rights and title under Treaty?

    Yes. Our rights will continue. We do not give up or lose our Aboriginal rights. In the Treaty, Aboriginal rights will be modified and continued, and they will not be extinguished. Treaty is meant to identify and protect Aboriginal rights and ensure they can be exercised by all Kitsumkalum members. In regards to hunting and fishing rights – we will continue to hunt and gather as we have always done in the past.

  10. How much is the loan to be repaid back if the AIP not approved?

    About 3 million dollars.

  11. What happens if Kitselas doesn’t sign??

    Kitselas is separate. We will continue with our AIP, if that is what Kitsumkalum members decide.

  12. What is our medical going to look like in 10 years?

    The health care we receive now will continue. The Kitsumkalum people will still have access to universal health care as do all other Canadian citizens, and anyone eligible for status will continue to be eligible for extended health care just like other status Indians.

  13. Will the health department still be run by Health Canada?

    Canada will be responsible for the operation of Health Canada programs. Kitsumkalum will be responsible for health programs we create. Currently Kitsumkalum delivers programs that are the responsibility of Health Canada so we need to follow their rules and regulations. These programs will continue.

  14. What is the cash payment for?

    The cash payment, or Capital Transfer, is a component of fiscal negotiations of the Treaty. We have already negotiated most of the Capital Transfer as we are in Stage 4 of negotiations. The Capital Transfer is not tied to the delivery of any programs, services or to any other Treaty obligations, so Kitsumkalum can spend this money in whatever way it sees fit. Other programs and services will continue. With the negotiation of a Kitsumkalum Treaty, members will not loose their status.

  15. Will we lose our status as Indians?

    No Kitsumkalum members will continue to be status Indians under the Indian Act.

  16. What are Service Agreements?

    These are agreements that set out how services will be delivered and are of key interest to local governments and First Nations communities across BC. These agreements enhance the capacity carrying elements on our land for the community to support the initiatives we deem necessary and vital to our lives. These agreements are often with municipal governments and deal with things like water and sewer services, or road maintenance.

  17. How will dual citizenship work after Treaty? Do existing members with dual citizenship lose it after Treaty?

    Any Kitsumkalum member with dual citizenship will continue to have dual citizenship, regardless of whether there is a Final Agreement. The Final Agreement will have no impact on either dual citizenship or on carrying goods across the border. Under Treaty, status Indians will remain status Indians.


Lands & Resources
  1. Will maps be provided for people to see the lands members will be getting as Treaty Settlement Lands?

    Yes. Maps of the Treaty Settlement Lands will be made available for members to see. Maps of the entire traditional territory will also be made available. These maps will also be made available on the website.

  2. What is a clear and simple definition of ‘fee simple’?

    “Fee simple lands” means full ownership of lands and the freedom to choose what to do or not to do with the lands. For example, right now we do not have fee simple ownership of our reserve lands because Canada owns them. We can only do what the Indian Act allows us to do on the reserve lands.

  3. If we register land in the provincial system, will Kitsumkalum still have authority over the land?

    Yes, Kitsumkalum will still have authority, jurisdiction and law-making authority on Treaty Settlement lands when we register with the BC Land Registry.

  4. Will Kitsumkalum members be able to sell their homes on the open market?

    Kitsumkalum members will be able to own their homes and will have all the rights and responsibilities of home ownership. Kitsumkalum members will have to discuss which lands can be sold on the open market and which can only be sold to Kitsumkalum members.

  5. How will Treaty Settlement Lands be used and protected?

    The questions of how Treaty Settlement Lands will be divided, used, and protected is one which the community and the Kitsumkalum government need to address. None of this has been discussed or decided. Eventually, new Kitsumkalum laws will have to deal with this in the post-Treaty environment.

    In a general way, Kitsumkalum Treaty Settlement Lands will be “Section 35” lands and therefore protected under the Constitution of Canada for Kitsumkalum. But as a self-governing nation, Kitsumkalum can choose what it wants to do with its lands. As a general rule, the lands will always remain Treaty Settlement Lands, under the jurisdiction of Kitsumkalum, unless the people of Kitsumkalum decide otherwise.

  6. What is the Kitsumkalum traditional territory?

    The Kitsumkalum traditional territory is the territory that Kitsumkalum has used since time immemorial. It is the same territory that is now represented by the Kitsumkalum Statement of Intent map that is on the website. We do not own outright the entire traditional territory. It is shared with other First Nations, the Crown and third parties, but we have a right to exercise our aboriginal rights in the territory. A Treaty will not change the geographic scope of the traditional territory. However, the Treaty will provide us with Treaty Settlement Lands within the traditional territory that will be owned exclusively by Kitsumkalum.

  7. Can land be sold after the Treaty is approved?

    Currently, we cannot sell the land. Moreover, the only people who can live on Kitsumkalum reserves are community members. The land beneath our houses is still owned by the government. After Treaty, we will own our lands in fee simple. This means that we will hold the rights and title to Kitsumkalum Treaty Settlement Lands. Treaty will also allow us to sell lands to third party non-members if, and only if, we wish. The Treaty will also allow the Kitsumkalum government to place restrictions on whom we sell lands too. We have not yet determined what sort of restrictions there will be on the sale of lands.

  8. So, the IR’s are considered reserve land too?

    Yes. IR refers to “Indian Reserves”. We have the right to live on these reserves, but we cannot do many things on them without the permission of the Minister of Indian Affairs. After the Final Agreement, the Kitsumkalum people will own the Treaty Settlement Lands, and our reserves will be a part of these Treaty Settlement Lands. Kitsumkalum will have self-government on its Treaty Settlement Lands and will manage those lands itself and not the Minister of Indian Affairs.

  9. Land, is it just part of the negotiations? If we want more land is there a process to get more after the AIP?

    Land is a key part of AIP and Final Agreement negotiations. The AIP is a chance to “touch base” with Kitsumkalum community members. Most of the land that we will get is included in the AIP but more lands could be offered at a later date.

  10. Why is water important?

    The water reserve gives the Kitsumkalum Government control of who uses the water on our lands and how it is used. It is likely that water will continue to become an increasingly more valuable resource in the future.

  11. How can the Treaty help with environmental concerns that Kitsumkalum members have?

    Kitsumkalum will be consulted on major projects after Final Agreement similar to the way we are currently consulted. The major change after Final Agreement will be that the Kitsumkalum people will be a part of the process from the start – not after a project is underway. On our Treaty Settlement Lands, we will be able make laws for Environmental Assessment and Management, and veto any project we disagree with.

  12. With the AIP process going on, what stops someone from buying a parcel of land in our Treaty Settlement Lands?

    Once we agree to the Agreement in Principle, the Province will protect the lands and resources we have reached agreement on, so that these cannot be bought or sold by anyone.

    After Treaty, Kitsumkalum will be the full owners of the Treaty Settlement Lands, and we will be able to do what we wish with our lands, as long as it is allowed under Kitsumkalum law.

  13. Is Port Essington going to be protected under the Treaty?

    Port Essington is a part of Treat Settlement Lands on the Coast.

  14. Is Bakers Inlet, Arthur Island part of Kitsumkalum protected lands?

    Currently, Bakers Inlet and Arthur Island are not part of Kitsumkalum Treaty Settlement Lands. However, negotiations for additional lands will take place during Final Agreement negotiations and we are putting forward all of our important sites, including sites at Bakers Inlet and Arthur Island.

  15. Will our Treaty Settlement Lands be protected?

    All Treaty Settlement Lands will be protected. To see the full land base of these lands, please stop by the Kitsumkalum Treaty Office to consult the map. Some Kitsumkalum traditional lands are included in Treaty Settlement Lands, and more will be included in the Final Agreement negotiations. With respect to our traditional territory that is not included as Treaty Settlement Lands, we will continue to use these as we have in the past. In addition, our rights to use these lands will receive constitutional protection. The Crown will also have an obligation to consult with us around Crown land use decisions.

  16. Is there access to marine environment because it wasn’t mentioned before?

    We use the Aboriginal Fishing Strategy (AFS) boundaries, but we are negotiating a broader marine harvesting area that will give us access to marine areas on the coast. This issue is very delicate as it involves the territories of other First Nations and we have agreed to fully address this issue in the Final Agreement. Much of the discussion around this was postponed because Canada was unable to discuss any matters related to fish.

  17. Will mineral rights belong to Kitsumkalum?

    Under the Treaty Settlement Lands we will own everything, and outside Treaty Settlement Lands we intend to negotiate revenue sharing.

  18. About access to seaweed beds, will we still have that?

    Yes, our traditional lands will still be available for use, and we will be able to use them as we have in the past.

  19. How will Kitsumkalum benefit from forest resources not on our lands?

    We are negotiating for timber licenses for up to 120,000 cubic meters per year, from the forestry resources that are outside of our Treaty Settlement Lands.

  20. Do we need permits for forestry? Would we be able to cut trees if we needed? If I needed cedar poles, could I go up and cut then and not get penalized?

    This is a complicated question. There are many kinds of work that can, and are, conducted with forest resources by and for Kitsumkalum people. It really depends on what a person, or group, would like to do on a particular portion of land. It also depends on the actual land area. Currently, Kalum Ventures Ltd. is responsible for the management of our natural resources and holds a forestry license. We suggest you contact Lyle Bolton at Kalum Ventures (KVL) for further information at (250) 635-8060.

  21. Will the Skeena River be protected?

    The Kitsumkalum way of life along the Skeena River will be protected in the same way that it is today. Fish and fish habitat in the River will be protected, and we will continue to hunt, fish and gather as we have for thousands of years.

  22. Mineral resources or royalties, what are they?

    Mineral resources are those resources normally found beneath the surface, like coal, gold and copper. Kitsumkalum will own all mineral resources beneath Treaty Settlement Lands. Royalties are a sum of money that industry pays to the Crown for the right to extract mineral resources. We will charge a royalty if anyone wishes to extract minerals from our lands. We are also seeking to share mineral resource royalties from Crown lands.

Hunting, Fishing & Gathering
  1. What about fish? Why hasn’t it been offered yet?

    At this point, the federal government is unable to negotiate fisheries matters because it is waiting for the Cohen Commission to complete its study and issue a report on the Salmon stocks. To avoid further delays, we have agreed to postpone fisheries discussions for the Final Agreement negotiations. A Final Agreement (or Treaty) will not be negotiated without the completion of fish negotiations with BC and Canada.

  2. When it comes to fish, what exactly will be negotiated in the Final Agreement?

    We will insist on maintaining the right to fish and gather in the rivers and the ocean, and to be a part of the commercial fishery. We will also insist on being part of fisheries management and having law-making over our fishery.

  3. Will there be laws to protect fish and fishing rights?

    Yes, the Kitsumkalum government will be able to make and enforce laws over our members after Treaty. Federal fish regulations will also continue to apply subject to our Treaty rights.

  4. What is the Wildlife and Migratory Birds Harvest Area?

    This is where we can exercise our Treaty rights to hunt wildlife and migratory birds. It includes all of the areas we have hunted in the past and has a meaning similar to “traditional territory”.

  5. Who will be able to hunt and fish in our traditional territory?

    The Treaty does not change who can hunt and fish in our traditional territory.

  6. Will we be consulted if there is a conservation problem?

    Yes. The Crown will consult with Kitsumkalum if there is a concern about conservation or if a particular species is designated as endangered.

  7. Will there be laws to protect wildlife?

    We will be able to hunt as we do now for domestic purposes, subject only to measures necessary for conservation, public health or public safety. Additionally, as a post-Treaty situation, if a proposal to develop land is submitted and it will affect our ability to hunt, BC or Canada will consult with Kitsumkalum to lessen the impact on our hunting before allowing the development to take place. BC must ensure that development does not deny Kitsumkalum people a reasonable opportunity to hunt. We will also negotiate a process with BC to evaluate the impact of development on our wildlife resources. We will also be able to make laws that govern how our members engage in wildlife harvesting activities.

  8. So for fishing and hunting, the government cannot tell us what to do anymore after the Treaty?

    We will continue to hunt and fish as we have done in the past, but under our laws, subject to measures for conservation and public safety.

  9. Can Kitsumkalum people gather in provincial parks, in places such as Red Sand Lake Park?

    Yes. We can hunt, fish and gather in provincial parks.

  10. Can we hunt, fish, and gather outside of our traditional territory?


Finance & Tax
  1. How much money will we receive from the Treaty?

    The money or Capital Transfer is still being negotiated, but Canada and BC have already offered Kitsumkalum $28.5 million dollars. Canada is currently doing internal work to increase the offer. It is also not uncommon for there to be slight increases during Final Agreement negotiations.

  2. How will the cash payment be managed?

    Many options are currently being explored, but all will be for the long-term benefit of the Kitsumkalum people.

  3. Will the cash payment be used to pay for existing programs and services?

    No. Programs and services are separate from the cash payment. These programs and services include education, health, public works and all other ongoing programs.

  4. Once the Treaty comes into effect, will there be a cash payout to all Kitsumkalum members?

    This is an option that is currently being discussed.

  5. Will we have to pay taxes after a Treaty?

    Because the Indian Act will no longer apply once the Final Agreement has been put into effect, Kitsumkalum members will pay taxes like all other Canadians. Sales taxes will come into effect 8 years after the Effective Date, and property and income taxes will come into effect after 12 years.

  6. What will happen with the money we pay to taxes?

    Canada will return to Kitsumkalum all of the income tax and all of the sales tax that residents of Kitsumkalum pay. BC will return 50 per cent of those same taxes to Kitsumkalum. Kitsumkalum will receive all property tax. That tax money will be a source of revenue for the Kitsumkalum government and will be used to improve the quality of life for Kitsumkalum members.

  7. What about elders and others who might not be able to afford to pay taxes?

    Tax policy allows governments to provide different tax levels for individuals with different incomes and in different economic circumstances. Kitsumkalum will use tax policy to ensure that the elders are taken care of, and this could include Elders grants, or subsidies linked with property tax.

  8. What is meant by ‘taxation is not an Aboriginal right’?

    Section 87 of the Indian Act exempts the property of Indians on Indian Reserves from tax. Court decisions have applied this exemption to income earned by Indians on Indian reserves and goods purchased on reserve by Indians. The exemption comes from the Indian Act and therefore can be changed by Canada at any time. It is not an Aboriginal right or a Treaty right, but an exemption created by legislation.

  9. How much income do we have to earn before we have to pay taxes?

    This can vary significantly based on a number of factors, including for example, how much your spouse makes and how many children depend upon your income. A single person can earn up to $10,000 without having to pay any taxes. A family of four could earn up to $40,000 without having to pay any taxes.

  10. Taxation is a major concern. Rumors state that we could lose our businesses on-reserve due to a loss of taxation exemption on reserves. Is this correct?

    Treaty does not change how businesses are taxed - if it is operated by the First Nation Government then the tax treatment agreement ensures that the business remains tax free if it is an independent business (privately owned) then it is currently taxable. For sales taxes the HST is a pure pass thru model and does not affect businesses one way or another. In other words, the sales tax is paid by the customer and not the business.

    Section 87 of the Indian Act does not apply to corporations or trusts, even if they are owned or controlled by an Indian. A corporation or trust is treated as a separate taxpayer. As such, neither would be considered an Indian for purposes of the exemption or affected by a Treaty.

  11. How much property tax will we have to pay?

    Property tax is a tax levied by the government upon property owners on the value of property (building and land) they own. In British Columbia, this is a two-step process that involves assessment and taxation. BC Assessment determines the classification, value and exemptions status of property. The general formula used when apply tax to the assessments is:

    Property Tax = Value of Property x Tax Rate

    Property tax for Kitsumkalum is discretionary revenues as the Final Fiscal Agreement (FFA) will provide funding for local services. In other words, the Kitsumkalum government will have the ability to create and give grants to some home owners.

  12. Do Indian commercial fishermen have to pay tax on their income?

    Indian tax fishing cases are complex and depend on the facts of each case. In addition, the law in this area is evolving. Generally speaking, if an Indian fisherman is incorporated, then the corporation is taxable, like any other corporation, regardless of where the corporation resides. Income earned by an Indian, from commercial fishing off-reserve, is treated as any other business’ income, unless you are able to prove that although some fishing activities are off-reserve, the actual business income is earned from activities conducted primarily on reserve.

    Business income is an intangible property and therefore hard to locate, and it is the location of the fisherman’s business activities that will determine if a fisherman’s income will be taxed. Recently, in Canada v. Robertson, 2012 FCA 94, fishermen who caught fish outside of their reserve but who kept their boats and equipment on reserve and did all their business with an on-reserve institution (a First Nations Fishing Co-op) did not have their income taxed, because their business activities were located on reserve. Even though one of the fishermen in this case lived off-reserve, all of his business activities related to the selling of fish was through an on-reserve institution that was central to the economic life of the reserve.

  13. How will the Treaty address issues regarding ‘double-dipping’?

    Kitsumkalum members will only be allowed to belong to one Treaty and cannot belong to a Band at the same time. There will be no “double-dipping”.

Governance & Constitution
  1. Can the Kitsumkalum really be self-governing? Do we have the capacity?

    Kitsumkalum has the potential to become self-governing because our members have the proven skills to develop and manage our own affairs. We will also ensure proper training, education, and mentorship are available to members in addition to building relevant experience. Prior to the Final Agreement, a capacity plan will be developed and will be put in place before the “Effective Date”, which is the day the Treaty becomes law.

  2. How active will our leadership be in regards to self-government? What will their roles be?

    All Kitsumkalum members, including the hereditary chiefs, the off-reserve, and the youth will be able to participate in the development of the Kitsumkalum Constitution and will participate in Kitsumkalum self-government. The hereditary chiefs will continue to have their traditional role, and there may be a special role for them to play as well in the Kitsumkalum Constitution. It is up to the people to decide.

  3. What will the opportunities for education and advancement be for community members? How will we build our capacity?

    The Kitsumkalum Treaty team is aware of the importance of training, education and capacity building. Once the AIP is approved, Kitsumkalum will start to work on a Comprehensive Community Plan that will include key elements of community development. The Comprehensive Community Plan will be a longer term plan that will take time to implement and will be an important part of our Treaty planning. Part of this will be a Capacity Building Plan. Canada and BC usually support funding during Final Agreement negotiations to help a First Nation prepare for Treaty. In addition, the Kitsumkalum Treaty team is working on the establishment of an education and training fund that will be established with some of the Treaty revenues.

  4. What is the “transition period”?

    The “transition period” is the time after the Treaty comes into effect but before your new government, based on the new Kitsumkalum Constitution, takes office. The period could be between 6 months and a year, depending on when the first election under the new constitution is held. During this transition period, the transition government would be the Chief and Council. As well, any laws and by-laws of the old Chief and Council would continue in place until replaced by the new government.

  5. How active are the Hereditary Chiefs and Houses? How have they been involved in the Treaty process? How will they be involved after the Treaty?

    The highest ranking Hereditary Chief of each Clan sits on the Kitsumkalum Treaty Board of Directors. The Board of Directors provides direction to the Treaty team. In addition, there are hereditary chiefs that are a part of the Treaty team, Alex Bolton and Gerald Wesley.

  6. Is the title of Kitsumkalum Indian Band going to be changed?

    Currently, the Kitsumkalum people will continue to be called the Kitsumkalum First Nation. If people wanted to consider changing the name, after Treaty, we will have the opportunity to answer these kinds of questions ourselves.

  7. Will Canada or BC be able to just take anything away after Treaty?

    After Treaty, all of our rights and title will be constitutionally protected. That means they can’t take anything away. We will be in control of Treaty Settlement Lands. The AIP outlines that the Kitsumkalum government, after Treaty, will have the ability to make laws applicable on Kitsumkalum lands in regards to the conservation, protection and management of Heritage Sites. We will also be able to control public access to these Heritage Sites. Today, none of this is protected by Treaty.

  8. Nass Valley has the Chief System, how will ours be?

    The Kitsumkalum people have the power to create their own government structure. The government structure will be established in the Kitsumkalum Constitution. The Constitution will only be approved through a full vote by the Kitsumkalum people.

  9. When dealing with the regional district, will there be a seat on the board for Kitsumkalum?

    This will be negotiated, but if we choose to become a member of the Regional District, then yes.

  10. Why isn’t anybody enforcing the Kitsumkalum Dog By-law?

    The Treaty Office is not responsible for the by-laws passed by Chief and Council. We suggest you bring your concerns to the Band Manager to ensure that it is on the agenda for the next meeting of Chief and Council.

  11. How will Kitsumkalum adapt to a municipal form of government? How will it look for the community?

    The Kitsumkalum people will develop a Constitution that will outline a governance structure for our community. A Constitution is the fundamental law of the Nation by which the people agree to be governed. It also will outline the political rights of the people as well as the roles and responsibilities of government. This is an important element to achieve self-government. A process of building a Constitution is the chance for Kitsumkalum to take control of our own future by creating our own government structure – we can’t ask Canada to do it for us.

    Through Treaty, Kitsumkalum will receive provincial-like powers, as well as more local government powers. We will not be a municipal form of government; we will be a Kitsumkalum government.

  12. What will be in a Kitsumkalum Constitution?

    Generally speaking, the Kitsumkalum Constitution will address the matters below, as well as other topics that Kitsumkalum member feel are important.

    • Rights and Responsibilities
    • Structure of Government
    • Law Making Authority
    • Elections and Appointments
    • Financial Accountability
    • Land Management
    • Conflict of Interest
    • Adoption of existing Kalum Laws
    • Ratification

    For a more detailed answer to this question, please refer to the brochure entitled “What should be in a Kitsumkalum Constitution”.

  13. How much will be taken from the Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

    The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms will continue to apply to all Kitsumkalum members. In addition, a Kitsumkalum Constitution should have a Bill of Rights that would set out the rights of members and address issues like equal access to services and the right to be treated fairly by your government. This section will also make it clear that Kitsumkalum members continue to have the protection of the Canadian Chart of Rights and Freedoms.

  14. What is the process for developing the Constitution?

    There is a document that has been developed called “Developing a Kitsumkalum Constitution” which provides the answers to this and other constitutional questions. We have had several meetings over the years on what should be in a Kitsumkalum Constitution, and have assembled a Constitution Working Group of “experts”. The working group is putting together a “consultation draft” based on information from the original meetings as well as more recent community meetings and meetings with leadership.

    Once the draft is ready, it will be made available to everyone. All Kitsumkalum members will have input into our Constitution - either through meetings or through discussions with our home visit team - to make it the best Constitution we can have. In order to get the Constitution right, it will have to be reviewed a number of times by:

    • Constitutional Working Group
    • Treaty Team
    • Chief and Council
    • Legal Counsel
    • Community Members

    The Kitsumkalum Constitution will take several years to develop and does not have to be ready until just prior to the Final Agreement. Everyone will have an opportunity to provide input. It will have to be ratified by community members prior to our Treaty.

  15. Who decides what goes into the Constitution?

    The people of Kitsumkalum will decided what goes into the Kitsumkalum Constitution. At the same time, a Constitution is a legal document so we have a technical team that will be responsible for the actual drafting.

  16. How will financial accountability be in Kitsumkalum Self-Government? What will be the system in place for the Kitsumkalum Band Members?

    The Kitsumkalum Constitution will have a section outlining Financial Accountability. A Constitution will have requirements for financial accountability, but it should also be flexible. A mechanism will have to be developed to set spending controls, as well as checks and balances. Also, a Finance Committee, or a financial management Board will need to be put in place to oversee the financial operations of government.

  1. Will the voting criteria be different for the Final Agreement then for the AIP?

    Yes, for the Final Agreement, all eligible voters, based on the eligibility criteria set out in the Eligibility and Enrollment Chapter will be able to vote for the Final Agreement. This essentially means all registered band members and all persons of Kitsumkalum ancestry who are at least 18 years of age.

  2. What does Kitsumkalum ancestry mean?

    Kitsumkalum ancestry means that either on your mother’s side or father’s side you can trace your lineage back to Kitsumkalum.

  3. What about Bill C-31 Indians and Bill C-3 Indians?

    In 1985, Bill C-31 amended the Indian Act to give status back to Aboriginal women who lost their status for marrying non-Aboriginal men, and in some cases, gave status back to their children too. More recently, as a result of the McIvor decision, the Indian Act was expanded again to allow some grandchildren of those women to receive status. Many people are still going through the Bill C-3 application process, and so there will likely be more Kitsumkalum members added to the membership list. In the majority of these cases, because these people have Kitsumkalum ancestry, the Treaty already includes them.

  4. Will the Band have a membership meeting to determine who can vote on the Final Agreement?

    Eligibility for the Treaty is set out in the Eligibility and Enrollment Chapter. Anyone who meets those criteria is entitled to be enrolled in the Kitsumkalum Treaty. Everyone who wishes to be enrolled, including existing band members, will have to make an application to an Eligibility and Enrollment Committee. Enrollment will be automatic, if the criteria are met.

  5. What are the criteria for individuals to be eligible to enroll at Kitsumkalum? Is it based on ancestry?

    Generally speaking, anyone of Kitsumkalum ancestry and all Kitsumkalum band members and their descendants are eligible to be enrolled in the Treaty. Everyone who is eligible to be enrolled must apply to be enrolled under the Treaty. However, it is important to note that anyone registered under any other Treaty in Canada cannot be registered under the Kitsumkalum Treaty, unless they withdraw in writing from the other Treaty.

  6. Do we have to enroll if we want to vote for the Final Agreement?


Treaty Process
  1. Do Kitselas and Kitsumkalum have to reach an agreement at the same time?

    No. Although working closely together, Kitselas and Kitsumkalum will reach their own agreement, in their own time.

  2. Will copies of the AIP be distributed to community members before the door-to-door campaign?

    Copies of the AIP will be made available after the door-to-door campaign begins and prior to the vote on the AIP. If you would like to consult with a copy of the current draft of the AIP, please come to the Treaty Office. Community members will have the opportunity to sign in and consult with the current draft of the AIP at the Kitsumkalum Treaty Office.

  3. Why is the voting threshold for the approval of the AIP only 50%+1 of those voting?

    Fifty percent (50%) plus one of those voting, is the standard practice for the approval of all AIPs. The AIP is not a Final Agreement and is not legally binding on anyone. A majority vote allows the Treaty team to move forward and eventually propose to the community a Final Agreement. A minority should not be able to hold up the wishes of the majority, particularly if the decisions are not legally binding.

  4. Who gets to vote in the Final Agreement?

    Kitsumkalum Members (band members and persons with Kitsumkalum ancestry), 18 years and older, will be eligible to vote in the Final Agreement. The details of the eligibility criteria are found in the Eligibility and Enrollment Chapter.

  5. How many members are on the band list?


  6. What happens if the AIP is rejected?

    Kitsumkalum negotiations may be terminated and land claims negotiations will be postponed to future generations. And we will be required to pay back the negotiating loan.

  7. What happens if there is a ‘yes’ vote for the AIP?

    All lands agreed to in the AIP will be protected from development and cannot be sold or leased by the Government. Forest and water resources will be protected. Ownership of two parcels of Crown lands will be transferred to Kitsumkalum almost immediately. One is called the Economic Development Parcel and is 118 hectares in size, located immediately north of IR #1. The other parcel is called the Community Expansion parcel and is 40 hectares in size. It is immediately west of IR #2.

    Kitsumkalum will move to the next stage of the Treaty process and be able to improve on the current offer during Final Agreement negotiations.

  8. If we vote ‘yes’ on the AIP, will we be required to conclude a Treaty?

    No. If at a later date, Kitsumkalum votes no to the Final Agreement or decides that it wants to withdraw from Treaty negotiations, it could, but it would still have to repay the negotiation loans.

  9. What will the process be for moving forward and addressing concerns and questions of community members during the consultation process?

    The consultation process will move forward in several ways:

    • The Treaty Office is planning to host workshops on specific topics. The first area of focus for the workshops has been ‘fiscal arrangements and taxation’. As more topics that are identified by community members, we will make the appropriate arrangements.
    • The Treaty Office is also organizing community meetings where guest speakers will be invited to speak on specific topics, and then break out groups will be arranged to answer questions and concerns of community members.
    • Additionally, information will be posted on the newly re-developed Treaty webpage; notices and information pamphlets will be distributed to each household.
    • Our door-to-door communications team is preparing to make arrangements to meet with community members to share information so that each member can make an informed choice on AIP vote-day in the future.
    • In addition, we are committed to answering every question that community members ask. We will keep a list of the Kitsumkalum Community Questions and Answers on the Website, and this will be updated on a regular basis.

    This is not an exhaustive list. The Treaty team is working to develop more ways to share information with community members – stay tuned.

  10. What is the role of the door-to-door team?

    The purpose of the door-to-door initiative is to ensure that community members receive accurate and timely information regarding the AIP. The door-to-door communications team will be sharing information with community members as part of the Treaty team effort to get a positive outcome.

  11. What is the Treaty team doing to ensure that all members are receiving the information so that they can make an informed decision when it comes to the AIP?

    To ensure that all community members have current and accurate information regarding the AIP, the Treaty Office is preparing to mail out materials to each household. If you are not on the mailing list, or would like to update your address, we encourage you to contact Lynn Bolton at (250) 635-1718. The Communications Team will also be contacting each member to arrange a meeting where they can share information regarding the AIP. If you live in Terrace, Prince Rupert or Port Edward, Vancouver or Victoria, the Treaty Office will be contacting you to make arrangements to ensure that you also receive information regarding the AIP.

  12. Some members may want the actual AIP for their own information is that okay?

    Yes. The Treaty Office.

    We will be sharing a current copy of the AIP and every household will have a copy of the “initialed AIP” prior to the vote.

  13. Will the members be involved in the whole Treaty process?

    Yes. Right now, our negotiations are approaching the ‘handshake stage’. A ‘handshake’ does not mean we have an actual finished agreement, it means we have a ‘tentative agreement’. In other words, we have a document we can agree too but changes can still be made. It is not an official agreement until it is signed by all the Parties. It will only be signed after Kitsumkalum approves it in a vote.

    There will not be a vote until the Government of Canada has gone through its internal approval process, which we have no control over and may take a few months. We cannot predict how long this will take. There may be further negotiations before it is signed.

    After Canada’s internal approval process, then all three Parties will initial the agreement. Then, we will call for a community meeting to decide if the people of Kitsumkalum have a clear enough understanding of the AIP to vote on it. A date for the vote will be set at that time. Everyone will have an opportunity to vote.

    The outcome of that vote will determine whether or not we proceed to final Treaty negotiations.

  14. Will the Final Agreement be legally binding?

    Once ratified by all the Parties, a Final Agreement is a legally binding document and settles all matters in the negotiations. Kitsumkalum members will be given an opportunity to vote on the Final Agreement.

  15. How many steps are there in the BC Treaty Process?

    There are 6 steps overall in the BC Treaty Negotiation process. Currently, we are at Stage 4 (Negotiation of an Agreement in Principle). If there is a majority ‘yes’ vote on the AIP, we will move into Stage 5 – the negotiation towards a Final Treaty. Stage 6 is the Implementation of a Final Treaty. For more information, please refer to

Related Matters
  1. How are agreements with BC Hydro, CN Rail, PNG, etc. going to work once the Treaty is signed?

    The various Impact Benefit Agreements we have negotiated with industry will not be affected by the Treaty.

  2. If Enbridge goes through what precautions will we take?

    Most of Kitsumkalum are opposed to the Enbridge pipeline, so we have not considered “pre-cautions” but want to ensure Enbridge does not go through. Chief and Council will deal with this as the time comes.