- About Us
- Treaty 101
- Constitution 101
- Land Use-Plan 101
Generally speaking, anyone of Kitsumkalum ancestry and all Kitsumkalum band members and their descendants are eligible to be enrolled in the Treaty. After Treaty, non-Kitsumkalum spouses could be eligible for treaty if allowed under Kitsumkalum custom. In other words, the Kitsumkalum community will get to determine if they want to include spouses or not as long as they do it in a way that is applied fairly and equally.
We are not sure what you mean by 'money left over after signing AIP'. After a Treaty, the Kitsumkalum Government will be responsible for managing funding and will be able to set its own funding priorities. It will also have a Constitution to ensure funding is managed in a fair and transparent way.
We are unsure at this point. Kitsumkalum has spent about 5 million dollars so far, which is actually lower than other First Nations. Kitsumkalum has been able to save costs by negotiating with other Tsimshian nations. Most First Nations have incurred significant delays during the AIP stage but usually finish Final Agreement negotiations within a couple years, so costs associated with Final Agreement should be a lot less than AIP.
All Kitsumkalum members will have the opportunity to have their say and vote for the AIP. We are using the Band Election lists to ensure and to show that we are following a process. These lists are also being used as a way to make sure we have the most accurate list to send the ballots and information to our community members.
Because your children are of Kitsumkalum ancestry they are eligible to become registered for the treaty, and if they register, they will be eligible for treaty benefits.
Yes. We will be notifying Kitsumkalum community members of these meetings soon.
The Kitsumkalum Treaty Office has, and will continue to work closely with the Board of Directors as well as Chief and Council to ensure that everyone is informed of treaty negotiations and their status. This will continue in the event that a new Chief and Council are elected in the New Year.
Canada, BC, and Kitsumkalum agreed that the AIP should be kept confidential until it was substantially complete to avoid misunderstandings, not just among community members but also among neighbouring First Nations who may sue Canada, BC or Kitsumkalum over the AIP. Portions of the AIP were released as part of the Treaty communications plan over the last four years, and the Communications team has provided a number of overviews and other materials. The AIP was released to members once the negotiators agreed on the language. Even now, Kitsumkalum, Canada and BC may still request other changes, but it is very difficult to make changes to the AIP because it requires approval by so many people and often requires professionals to perform various tasks, often various technical experts in regards to lands.
Anyone of Kitsumkalum ancestry will be eligible for benefits under the treaty. Eligibility of individuals is explained in the Enrollment and Eligibility chapter of the Treaty. It will not matter if someone lives on- or off-Reserve.
Aside from the legal review and initialling of the AIP, the AIP negotiations have been substantially completed. It is very difficult for Canada and BC to make changes to the AIP. For every change they need to consult with all of their different departments, including their managers and lawyers and often various other technical experts. The Kitsumkalum negotiating team has tried to get input from community members over the last several years.
The appendices are nearly finished. They consist mostly of maps and a listing of all the various interests that exist on the lands, things like people who own mineral tenures or water reservations. They are not confidential and will probably be made available soon. Again, we just want to be sure there are no mistakes. They contain mostly technical information and so probably will not be sent to everyone. They will probably be made available online soon or at the treaty office soon.
These are options that are currently being considered and we hope to organize something to allow for this to take place at one of our community meetings.
The treaty team has tried to keep the expenses of the negotiations as low as possible.
The AIP is a framework. 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.
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.
We will have to consider various other ways to help them be competitive and either assist them so their revenues continue despite the eventual loss of the tax exemption or help them come up with ways to help them reduce their expenses. This is something that will need to be developed with all community members, probably as part of a Comprehensive Community Plan.
Manny Jules was unable to attend the meeting on Saturday, September 15 because his plane could not fly. We are working to reschedule his time in the community to hear him speak.
This is a question that will need to be addressed to the Kitsumkalum membership clerk. Please contact the Band Administration office.
Currently, the background work for a Kitsumkalum Constitution is being prepared. 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
Chief and Council
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.
Further to this, and as a piece of background information 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
Conflict of Interest
Adoption of existing Kitsumkalum Laws
Post-treaty, this is something that will be outlined in the Kitsumkalum Constitution. Please see the above answer for more details.
Your question is quite broad and has already been answered to a significant extent on our Facebook site. If you have a more specific question, please pose it at a future meeting. Thank you.
This is a policy that was developed by Chief and Council as well as the Band Administration. We suggest speaking to these bodies regarding your concerns.
This is an issue that is currently managed by the Band Administration. We suggest you speak to the Housing Coordinator at the office.
The treaty team has answered every single question asked of them, including several pages here and after every meeting. There will be more meetings and more opportunities for members to ask questions. Feel free to pose any questions you have to the treaty team.
You cannot easily monitor that sort of thing. After treaty, there is no need to because that would not be something people could take advantage of anymore.
If there is a no vote, negotiations will likely stop and be left for future generations. Reserves would continue to exist. There is no guarantee that the federal government will not change the Indian Act or the tax exemption under it.
The AIP, if approved will lead to a Final Agreement vote. If at that time, you do not enroll then you cannot vote on the Final Agreement. There is no need to enroll to vote on the AIP which is voted upon by existing band members
This depends on how you do this. If you establish a sole proprietorship or a limited partnership – you will continue to fill out regular income tax. You will be tax exempt until twelve years after effective date. If you were to establish a corporation, corporate taxes are not exempt now or later.
If you want to keep your tax exemption in this case, you will have to move to another reserve. This will have to be with another First Nation as Kitsumkalum reserves will no longer exist.
The section 87 exemption has a number of requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to take advantage of the exemption for employment income:
over 90% of duties of employment occur on a reserve (employee may live off-reserve)employer and employee reside on reserve (activities may be off-reserve)more than 50% of duties occur on reserve and either employer or employee reside on reserve, or the employer is an Indian band or agency on reserve and the duties are non commercial.
Yes, but you would have to work for the other reserves Band Government or over 90% of your duties would have to occur on the other reserve.
Over 140 years ago s. 87 was set up to protect the assets Indians received from treaty settlement from local taxation. Over the 140 years virtually everything has changed. The key idea behind Treaty is that the First Nation is becoming more independent and self-determining.
No they, like you, use section 87 of the Indian Act to be tax exempt. First Nations under number treaties received very little in the way of capital transfers, often just ten to fifty dollars a person, and they received no powers of self-government unless they subsequently negotiated a self-government agreement.
With the tax exemption for Nisga’a citizens how the gas bar (Tempo) has been affected.
Nisga’a citizens can either be or not be part of the treaty. If they are not part of the treaty, this is because they did not enroll. Those who did will have Nisga’a citizenship cards in addition to their status cards. Those who did not, will only have a status card.
The Nisga’a tried dealing with the provincial government in regards to tax exemption. AANDC (formerly INAC/DIA) will not change. It is a fairly complicated process now. You have to assume that all are being honest. If they show their status card at the gas bar and are willing to sign the piece of paper, then they can buy the gas tax free. There is no way to track it further.
Under the Final Agreement, Kitsumkalum will be a legal entity, and so it will be able to enter contracts and agreements of just about any kind that it wants to. It will also have the ability to create public institutions or entities much like crown corporations, and those entities can enter agreements or partnerships of various kinds. Individuals will still have to present status cards or treaty cards. It’s the only way to prevent abuse of our special rights.
Yes. The only people that have changed those programs under Treaty are the Nisga’a nation. The Nisga’a Lisims still provides those services, but in their Treaty negotiations, they decided to take down this element in their funding agreement and manage it themselves. Because they went with different service providers, the programs and services they provided changed. The Nisga’a Lisims did this in the hopes of saving funds. Kitsumkalum negotiators are aware of the concerns of community members and have negotiated to leave health and education programs and services under the management of Canada and British Columbia. Under treaty, Kitsumkalum can manage its own institutions if it wants to later. For example, Kitsumkalum could create its own community health centre and manage that, but management of health benefits will continue through the federal and provincial governments exactly as they do for status Indians.
BC will calculate how much PST is collected in BC on a per capita basis and how many Kitsumkalum members there are. They multiply the two together, and then divide by two to figure out the total Kitsumkalum will receive.
Yes. If the Kitsumkalum community accepts the treaty, Kitsumkalum will no longer have reserve lands, and so even those people who do no enroll in the Treaty will be affected because they will no longer be working on Reserves.
To some extent, the capital transfer, land and various other treaty benefits are an attempt to resolve some of the past infringements in Kitsumkalum’s territory, but for the most part, the Treaty negotiations are meant to move forward not to focus on righting past wrongs. The modern day treaty process is about making new relationships into the future.
The Kitsumkalum government after treaty will have the same protections and immunities a municipality has, which often has special laws in regards to bankruptcy. Otherwise, laws would apply similarly to it as it would for another entity claiming bankruptcy. However, funding for programs and services is separate, and under the treaty, Canada and BC would be obligated to continue to provide funding for programs and services even if a First Nation government breached any of its obligations to them
At this point, we cannot speculate as to what will happen with the BC Treaty Process. For now, the BC Treaty Commission tells u that it is business as usual. If Kitsumkalum approves the AIP, Final Agreement negotiations would almost surely continue regardless of what happens to other First Nations in the process. That is because, if Kitsumkalum approves the AIP, for Canada and BC to halt further negotiations after obtaining an AIP would almost surely be a violation of their obligation to negotiate treaties with First Nations in good faith. The BCTC and others have growing concerns about those that are not making progress not those that are nearly complete the AIP.
Treaty BC vs. Treaty Saskatchewan – A Cree friend said that treaty will not work in BC because we are attached to our land. Can you explain the difference as we do live off our lands here in Kitsumkalum including water. We cannot loose our land resources.
The numbered treaties on the Canadian Prairies were negotiated 150 years ago. These treaties assigned further reserve lands to First Nations, guaranteed continued hunting and fishing rights but otherwise provided little other benefits or clarity in regards to the extent of their rights. For example, the numbered treaties provided little to nothing in the way of self-government, money, or commitments to further funding.
In BC, one of the biggest differences between it and the rest of Canada is that BC has many smaller First Nations, each distinct with different cultural identities. These First Nations also inevitably have more overlapping interests than was seen anywhere else in Canada. It has been a challenge for all First Nations in British Columbia to learn to share rights and work together rather than against one another. We agree that we do not want to lose land resources, and the treaty protects those, but we also need to be mindful about working together with other First Nations and non-Aboriginals.
Agreed, acknowledgement and respect for protocols is important, something we all need to learn and remember even when a bit nervous about speaking in front of large groups.
Roughly speaking as sales tax HST is 12% then the cost of raw materials that go into the cost of constructing a home would increase by 12%, then depending on if the land is existing or also purchased that may be an additional 12% as well. This would occur commencing 8 years after effective date.
To the best of our knowledge, AANDC does not keep track of those kinds of statistics as far as we know. It can be difficult to keep track of. The band might try. Please contact them for further information.
Currently, Kitsumkalum people have access to 3 reserves and shared access to Port Essington. Strictly speaking, the Crown, not the Kitsumkalum people, own this land. If the Kitsumkalum community members vote ‘yes’ to the AIP, we will secure, as a minimum, a total of 45.292.1 hectares (111,919.2 acres) of Treaty Settlement Lands. During Final Agreement negotiations, the parties will add more land, including in all likelihood more lands in Port Essington and Terrace. If Kitsumkalum votes ‘yes’ on the Final Agreement, we will own these lands in fee simple. We will also own and control all foresty and mineral resources and mineral royalties on our land. We will have the ability to add new lands in the future.
KFN has tax power on TSL. The tax agreements expand that to provide tax revenues from expenditures made off TSL when KFN does not have tax authority.
Currently, we receive funding from AANDC (formerly INAC/DIA). They have a variety of programs and services that they help fund, including governance, housing, education, health and others. AANDC often helps collect or sometimes manage revenues we receive from various leases of reserve lands too. Finally, a First Nation can also apply to AANDC for various developmental or capacity building funding. After treaty, our First Nation government will still be eligible for these funds just through different agreements. Please check with the band for more information about current funding. Bands must meet a number of reporting requirements to AANDC or a Band can have all of its funding halted.
Canada would continue to manage those. With or without a treaty, a First Nation can sometimes try to take on service delivery of some of these agreements. When they do so, they need to enter into a service delivery agreement with Canada. Canada ensures such benefits are provided consistently across the nation.
No, the retirement age is something that is determined by the Federal Government of Canada.
Initally, after the Treaty is ratified, there will be a transition period to allow for the community to establish new laws, rules and procedures. It will be up to the Kitsumkalum people as to how the government will be structured. This is something that will be determined and outlined in the Kitsumaklum Constitution. We will have the power to develop our own government structures and determine how often re-elections will have to take place.
There is no tax exemption on mortgages so it has no effect.
We agree that it is very important for all members to weigh everything carefully, but it’s not really possible for anyone to show all the advantages and disadvantages of treaty in a short answer. The treaty team has some material available all ready and will have more to come well before the vote. We suggest you review as much of the information as you can, and we hope that you will meet with a member of your treaty team if you have not done so already. We also encourage you speak to family and friends who are also members.
To begin with, in terms of what you are getting, we can say it includes nearly 100 times more land than Kitsumkalum’s current Reserve lands. To get an idea of how much land that is, you should consider signing up for one of the land tours that are ongoing. The treaty team believes that land is a very valuable asset, one that will only gain more and more in value for future generations. Kitsumkalum will also receive at least 28.5 million dollars in cash, probably a fair amount more. Kitsumkalum will also receive more law-making abilities and the ability to manage its own lands and its own government. One important disadvantage is that you will lose your tax exemption. Some people also actually prefer to have AANDC (formerly INAC) manage the Band.
In terms of the Nisga’a, again it is difficult to weigh all of the advantages and disadvantages in a short answer. We can say this much, in all likelihood, the Nisga’a will be giving their future generations far more land than any other First Nation in British Columbia.
Please watch for more information as the AIP vote gets closer.
You will have to pay tax.
Your pension is not currently exempt and so as far as CPP goes nothing changes. People receiving EI and IA typically fall below tax thresholds and pay little to no tax.
The tax revenues your government will received is not compensation for the loss of the tax exemption, the elimination of the s.85 exemption is a requirement from Canada and BC for the treaty.
No one knows where members spend their money. The sales tax revenue that Canada and BC will provide KFN will be based on a formula and not on actual taxes spent or collected.
IA recipients should be living in band housing, this is considered to be social housing and is exempt from property tax.
The tax treatment agreement sets out how your government will pay taxes, for sales taxes, the KFN government will pay and collect tax and there will be a calculation done at the end of the year to ensure that your government does not pay sales tax.
In theory these are opposite concepts, in fact many members will not have any net tax payable after the exemption is phased out.
BC’s position is that they continue to provide TSL with certain services and the 50% of the tax revenue they retain goes to offset the costs of providing those services.
Lands received through the treaty process will be referred to as Treaty Settlement Lands (or TSL). These will include what we now know as reserves plus much more. Some people speak of our traditional territory and generally mean the broad boundary where the Tsimshian exercised Aboriginal rights. Under treaty, we will continue to have Aboriginal rights throughout our traditional territory. The land selection was made based on many of our traditional lands.
No, you will remain a status Tsimshian First Nations person. Under the Treaty, we will have more abilities to pass our own laws to protect our culture and our identity as it comes from our culture. For example, we could make laws to help us protect our language or even require its use in certain situations if we wanted to. Even if members continue to support treaty, it will take a few years before a Final Agreement can be reached, and a bit more before the treaty can be brought into effect and then still more to implement it. The reality is that treaty is at least five years or more away, and that it will take years beyond that for many of the benefits to be fully realized.
If you pay tax already then nothing changes.
All programs including health programs will continue to be administered as they were before.
We are unsure the exact number. The BCTC website at
www.bctreaty.org has some information in regards to the numbers of bands involved, and the AANDC website has some basic information about bands in BC and their sizes, see their First Nation Profiles page (http://pse5-esd5.ainc-inac.gc.ca/fnp/Main/Index.aspx?lang=eng ). As for why they did not become involved, we can only guess.
Can Kitsumkalum become self-sustaining without treaty?
erhaps it could, but it will be a lot easier with treaty, at the very least because it will have nearly 100 times more land than it would without treaty.
Arguably, a First Nation is going to learn a lot more from Treaty than it ever could without. Even if a First Nation becomes self-sustaining without a treaty, it is not truly self-determined, because AANDC continues to be involved in the major development decisions. Treaty is going to be a big step, no matter when you take it.
Kitsumkalum members living off-Reserve will the opportunity to participate in the development of a new Kitsumkalum Constitution and the creation of our new government, including suitable representation for them. This could help off-Reserve members have more say in how lands and resources will be used along with how benefits from those resources will be managed.
Yes. You always have the choice to become a Kitsumkalum citizen for the Final Agreement. If the Final Agreement is accepted, aboriginal rights are outlined there. It is important to remember that the AIP vote is a time where negotiators check-in with community members, and not a binding document.
Yes, they will pay despite living on KFN reserves because reserves will no longer exist. But this will also be subject to the phase in period. The vast majority of tax revenues from non-Kitsumkalum members will go to Kitsumkalum.
Land, hunting, and fishing will all be protected in the Final Agreement, which is a constitutionally protected document. The protection will be as high as any law in Canada.
According to the courts, you can use your status card as a way of proving that you have an Aboriginal right to fish. However, Bands, or Aboriginal communities, also have some rights to govern themselves and manage resources among themselves. Because Aboriginal rights are for the benefit of the whole community, most bands like to keep track of who is fishing along with where and how much members are catching. Some Bands also cooperate with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to try and keep better data and help improve fisheries management. For more information, please check with the Band.
The land offer in the AIP already includes the former Reserve in Port Essington. Kitsumkalum negotiators are seeking more lands in Port Essington during Final Agreement negotiations. A number of the lands in Port Essington are held by the Provincial Crown, and so they could be offered during Final Agreement. After the treaty is complete, Kitsumkalum can buy other lands but cannot necessarily claim more land, so it will be important to include it in Final Agreement negotiations. After the treaty, Kitsumalum will have the ability to manage its own lands and to make laws in regards to it, and so it can transfer lands to members in various ways. There will be various advantages and disadvantages for various options. Assistance for social housing will be something Kitsumkalum will consider. It will be up to us to decide which option is best for our members
Despite all the various challenges related to building capacity, it continues to be a priority for Kitsumkalum. As part of the treaty, Kitsumkalum will participate in a number of capacity building initiatives leading towards a Final Agreement. After Final Agreement, Kitsumkalum, along with Canada and BC, will also develop an Implementation Plan that spans years and will outline the steps Kitsumkalum will have to take to implement the treaty.
No. There is a Tax Agreement that will set out any exemptions clearly for everyone else. Taxes will not be levied on unimproved land (forests, fields, watersheds, etc.). Property tax will be levied on everything else.
In other words, everything is taxable unless it is exempt by an Agreement. The taxes have to be levied by someone. Normally, BC would collect the taxes on these lands. Kitsumkalum will work to ensure that we collect the tax monies, rather than the provincial government.
Most of the land is unoccupied provincial crown land. Some of the land contains the BC Hydro Northwest Transmission Line being developed and the old line, but Kitsumkalum will receive rents and tax revenues or grants in lieu from BC Hydro for those lands. Private or personally owned lands are generally not included but could be at a later date if they are willing to sell their lands to Kitsumkalum.
There is no privately owned land in the current land package, so there is no need to have leases. There is privately owned lands in the KFN land package that will not be owned by KFN, however, you will have a say over lands in your traditional territory, and your Aboriginal Rights will continue throughout your territory. Private lands may be acquired through a willing seller-willing buyer agreement. Please also see our response above and in question number three. In regards to overlap, there are some issues with neighbouring First Nations that Kitsumkalum, along with Canada and BC, will have to address during Final Agreement negotiations.
The Nisga’a Final Agreement provided 2019 square kilometres of treaty settlement lands, which works out to just over 200,000 hectares of land, and their current population is approximately 6000 people, probably a bit less then. That works out to about 33 hectares per person. Kitsumkalum’s land offer is just over 45,000 hectares for 700 people, which is 64 hectares per person, nearly double the amount of land offered to the Nisga’a. Regardless of what was initially claimed, Kitsumkalum has negotiated a larger amount of land per capita. You have Aboriginal rights throughout your territory, and you still will after treaty.
Any Kitsumkalum community member is more than welcome to come on a land tour with us. If you would like to coordinate a specific tour with yourself and the Hereditary Chief or Matriarch of your House, please call the Kitsumkalum Treaty Office at 1 888 635 1718, and we will work with you to coordinate a tour.
We have had several community members ask about this. The Communications team is working on this as an option. We will inform community members on the website, Facebook and by flyer of any new dates that will be coordinated. One has now been set for August 18, 2012, and the treaty office will try to notify members in regards to subsequent ones.
In regards to treaty, Kitsumkalum would still be required to be consulted for a project like the port expansion. We will have the law-making ability to increase protections on its own lands. Presently, we are unsure what protective measures are in place for disasters. First Nation involvement in that sort of thing is limited for the most part to the extent they were consulted during project assessments. You can see environmental assessment documents, including recommendations and responses online at the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s Registry page. For the port expansion, the link is http://www.ceaa.gc.ca/050/details-eng.cfm?evaluation=47632. Aside from that, you would have to contact the Prince Rupert Port Authority.
Some of Kitsumkalum’s jurisdiction or law-making is limited to treaty settlement lands, including in regards to forestry and mining. However, under treaty, the government will still have to consult with Kitsumkalum anytime a project will affect Kitsumkalum’s various treaty rights, which would include major projects on adjacent lands. Also, the Supreme Court of Canada has already ruled in Beckman v. Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation (2010) that a modern treaty cannot be used by the government in a way that has an adverse impact on the special relationship the government has with First Nations. To use the treaty in that sort of negative way would be in inconsistent with the honour of the crown and the grand purpose of s. 35 and modern treaties, which is the reconciliation of Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals. So arguably, when attempting to use adjacent lands, the government continues to be at least as obligated to consult and accommodate a treaty First Nation as they would be if the First Nation had not signed a treaty if not higher.
This process began in the 1970s, with Don Roberts Sr., Clifford Bolton and Jim McDonald doing the research to formalize Kitsumkalum territories on a map. Community members as well as the Hereditary Chiefs at this time were heavily involved in this process, and continue to be today. The Highest Hereditary Chiefs of each House sit on the Kitsumkalum Board of Directors and are consulted regularly in regards to treaty related questions. When the research was complete, the list of territories, and the Kitsumkalum Declaration was presented to everyone. This was submitted during the negotiations for our TSL lands.
No. Privately owned lands will not infringe on your TSL.
IN DETERMING EXTRA PLOTS OF LAND, ARE THOSE REVERTED TO BC? NOTHING IS HAPPENING TO THEM? (I.E. THOSE PARCELS AROURD PORT ESSINGTON) Some lands in Port Essington have reverted to BC because former land owners have not paid property taxes since leaving their lands. The parties have agreed to negotiate transferring some of those lands during Final Agreement. The lands are already protected as part of a conservancy, and so further developments are not currently possible there.
The government continues to maintain its position that any loans will have to be repaid. The government would not and could not allow a First Nation to suffer financial hardship. If Kitsumkalum cannot raise the funds from its various business ventures, the government may slightly reduce funding for government services over a span of years. A number of First Nations are putting pressure on the government to forgive the loans, but it is almost impossible to say with any certainty what will happen.
No, not necessarily. However, if the community approves the AIP, BC will immediately transfer the two ITA parcels to Kitsumkalum. Those lands will be transferred permanently and be owned by Kitsumkalum regardless of what happens during Final Agreement. The value of those lands will offset loan debts to a significant extent.
The parties continue to review the AIP and to participate in discussions with First Nations that may have overlapping claims with Kitsumkalum. It’s a bit difficult to predict how long it will take for those negotiations and reviews to take, but we hope for those to conclude soon. If you would like to consult copies of the AIP, please stop by the Treaty Office and we can show you the document. Copies will be made available well before the AIP vote takes place.
The treaty office does not know with complete certainty but can say that it is very unlikely. Lands below a high water mark are referred to as submerged lands. Any ownership of such lands is very rarely recognized or granted. In regards to a port authority, the province would in all likelihood grant the water front lands up to the high water mark. The federal crown has jurisdiction in regards to navigation and shipping, and so does not need a provincial grant of any kind to exercise that authority. The federal crown and provincial crown, when transferring the land, would have had one or more agreements of one kind or another, the terms of which may not all be public.
Please see the answer above too. Kitsumkalum will have access to a large amount of water for domestic, business, and industrial needs. Legally, it’s not the same as ownership, because ownership implies an exclusive and fairly absolute right to use water however one wants to.
An economic development plan will be part of the broader Implementation Plan. If Kitsumkalum accepts the AIP, Kitsumkalum will participate in various capacity development initiatives leading up to Final Agreement, which will include training and studies for identifying the best possible economic development projects. Once a Final Agreement is reached and put in place, Kitsumkalum, BC, and Canada will follow its Implementation Plan that will span up to 10 years. Identifying economic development projects that will take the best possible advantage of Kitsumkalum’s new lands and new financial resources will be an important part of that.
The only federal lands that are part of TSL are existing Reserve lands. The majority of lands are unoccupied, undeveloped provincial crown lands, and very little of them have ever been mined aside from the Kitsumkalum’s own rock quarry.
Watersheds refers not just to rivers but the surrounding lands too. Kitsumkalum will in fact own large amounts of the Kitsumkalum river’s watershed and the Zymacord watershed. It’s just the lands that are under water, up to and including the high water mark, that are not included. If resources are under those lands, they will not belong to Kitsumkalum. It’s unlikely that anyone would ever be able to access them or harvest them unless they could do so in a way that would not affect the water and any related ecosystems that depended on that water, which probably cannot be done.
Much of the TSL is forested lands. Much of the particularly accessible forest is second growth, but second growth still has plenty of potential for the future. The lands also contain a large amount of water which will become an increasingly more valuable resource. As for resources below the surface, it is difficult to say with certainty. Kitsumkalum will be able to explore that in the future.
All current Kitsumkalum health, education, social assistance and other programs and services will continue. Under the treaty, Kitsumkalum will have more say over how programs are developed and delivered in order to provide better services to community members.
The BC Treaty Commission is an independent body responsible for facilitating treaty negotiations among the governments of Canada, BC and First Nations in BC. The Treaty Commission does not negotiate treaties-that is done by the three parties at each negotiation table. Any consultation is the responsibility of the Kitsumkalum negotiators. To date, regular meetings have been organized to inform our Hereditary Chiefs. Additionally, community events, print documents have been organized and distributed, as well as the home visits that have been undertaken by the Communication team.
The highest Hereditary Chief of each Clan sits on the Board of Directors. The Kitsumkalum Treaty Office consults with the chiefs on a regular basis. Please also see our response in the Lands section in regards to the involvement of Hereditary Chiefs during land selection.
This is something that the Kitsumkalum Administration is being worked on. Please stop by the Kitsumkalum Administration Office and someone can help you.
The Agreement-in-Principle (or AIP) is not a legally binding agreement. It includes many of the details that will be in the treaty and, once approved by the community, gives us the green light to move on to a final treaty. The final treaty will be a legally binding document made into law.
Direct benefits to members include: - The protection of our treaty settlement lands from any further development;
We are hoping that the AIP vote will take place early 2013. There are still some things under negotiation, so we cannot say for sure.
The approval of the AIP requires 50 per cent plus one person of the people who vote on the AIP to vote yes.
All registered Kitsumkalum Band Members 18 years and older may vote.
Not at the AIP stage. There are still much more benefits to negotiate for Kitsumkalum. After the AIP is approved, we will consult with members about the types of direct benefits they would like to see emerge from a Final Agreement. Benefits might, for example, include land, an elder's payment, dividends based on Kitsumkalum profits or an education fund.
If the AIP is not approved, we will likely stop work and further negotiations will be left to future generations. BC and Canada have no obligation to come back to the negotiating table.
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. We will continue to be Status Indians.
No. Hunting and fishing rights, as with all Aboriginal rights, will continue, as they have in the past.
All current Kitsumkalum health, education, social assistance and other programs and services will continue. Under the treaty, Kitsumkalum will have more say over how programs are developed and delivered in order to provide better services to community members.
Kitsumkalum members living off-reserve, including in Terrace, will have the opportunity to participate in the development of a new Kitsumkalum Constitution and the creation of a new government, including representation for them. With a newly structured government, community members living off-reserve will have a bigger say on how our lands and resources will be used.
If a treaty is signed, Kitsumkalum will become self-governing. That means we will have a new government designed and developed by the Kitsumkalum people. It will not be based on the Indian Act, but on how Kitsumkalum members want to see our government structured. The structure of our new government will be set out in a Kitsumkalum Constitution developed by the Kitsumkalum people. This does not have to be done for the AIP vote, but it will have to be ready for the Final Agreement. We will have the ability to make our own laws over a broad range of subjects, including language and culture, education, social services, child care and health services.
Over the last several years, Kitsumkalum has been working to build greater capacity. The focus has been on economic development and related issues. Kitsumkalum members have the potential to take on greater challenges with the proper training, education, mentorship and experience.
Once the AIP is approved, we will develop an Implementation Plan that will outline the steps that Kitsumkalum will have to take to implement the treaty. We do not have to take on all the responsibilities of treaty and self-government right away. We can take on responsibilities as our capacity develops.
Yes. It is federal government policy that, under modern treaties, Aboriginal people will pay taxes like other Canadians. In return, the Kitsumkalum government will gain taxing powers. All taxes collected will be paid to the Kitsumkalum government for the development of programs and services to benefit the community. The ability to raise revenues through tax powers will be an important part of our self-government. We will also have the ability to raise tax revenues from non-members living on our lands.
For more information on Taxes please see Understanding Property Tax and Understanding Income and Sales Tax
135. WHAT IS KITSUMKALUM'S POSITION ON THE NEW BC HYDRO TRANSMISSION LINE?
On Feb. 13, 2012, Kitsumkalum approved a major agreement with BC Hydro for the Northwest Transmission Line to be constructed through a portion of our traditional territory. The agreement will provide employment, business and financial opportunities to our community, which is another positive step in making our world better for tomorrow. While we want to ensure minimal environmental or social impact, we also want to position ourselves to take advantage of benefits that can accompany the project. We believe we have done both with the Hydro agreement in a similar fashion as with the CN Rail and Rock Quarry Agreement related to the Prince Rupert Port expansion.
13136. Are we going to teach our children how to survive outdoors and when traditional rights?
We strongly encourage our community members to encourage our children to learn about their outdoor skills and traditional rights from their Elders.
137. Will we be able to vote on each section of the AIP individually?
No. In March, 2013, we will have the choice to vote on whether or not we will allow our negotiators to continue negotiations for the Final Agreement or Treaty.The vote question will read:
Based on the AIP dated____, do you agree to give the Kitsumkalum treaty negotiating team authority to negotiate a proposed Final Agreement with Canada and BC?
138. Can Treaty buy cabins/land close to Kitsumkalum territory to own more land that didn’t belong to Kitsumkalum?
Yes. Kitsumkalum can buy and own any land that it wants to. If those lands are close to existing TSL, then it can potentially be added to TSL, meaning that Kitsumkalum would gain law-making over those lands too.
139. Can Treaty buy trap lines when they are for sale, even if it is not a Kitsumkalum Band member selling it?
Yes. Again, Kitsumkalum can buy and own anything it would like to. As for existing traplines on TSL, if any of those are abandoned, they will automatically belong to Kitsumkalum.
140. Can we get copies of George Nicholson’s speaking notes?
Yes, the speaking notes and power point presentations will be made available to everyone.
141. Do we need to take the acquisition test for a hunting license? Does this count as part of our Aboriginal Right to hunt?
Arguably, it is not really an Aboriginal right to avoid taking the test. However, the courts have said that because an Aboriginal right it constitutionally protected, any regulations that are inconsistent with your right will not normally apply. They have also placed certain limitations on Aboriginal rights, one of them being public safety concerns. If enforcement officers had reason to believe that an Aboriginal person is often exercising their right in an unsafe manner, they could arguably require safety tests or place other limitations on that person’s ability to exercise their right until the safety concerns have been addressed.
142. Is it possible to clarify where the Harvesting areas on the Coast would be for the Kitsumkalum people?
This remains to be negotiated during the Final Agreement stage. Kitsumkalum, Canada, and BC will have to do a fair amount of work with other First Nations that share harvesting activities in these areas.
143. Will we have any power/recourse to sue companies when their work interferes with our activities on our lands?
Yes. If the Environment Assessment Process is not followed, then Kitsumkalum will have good cause to sue a company.
144. What happens if a Right of Way interferes with our access to lands?
If the government established a right of way that interfered with your ability to exercise your treaty rights, the government would have to abide by the provisions of the Treaty, requiring essentially that Kitsumkalum still have the ‘reasonable opportunity’ to exercise its right. If there was interference, we would argue that it could not be reasonable.
145. Who owns the water licenses to our watersheds?
Although these lists are not confidential, BC and negotiators are currently checking the Appendices to ensure there are no mistakes. They will probably be made available soon.
146. Where would the royalties go for trapping and the sale of furs on Kitsumkalum core lands?
There will not be much in the way of royalties, especially because members will not be required to pay for licenses, but wherever there are, they would go to Kitsumkalum. On Kitsumkalum Lands, Kitsumkalum will be like BC for registered traplines, guide outfitter licenses and angling licenses, and so those fees will go to Kitsumkalum.
147. Trading or bartering between aboriginal peoples in Canada - will we need any special permits or licenses to transport goods between provincial borders or National Parks?
No, not normally. The AIP says that you may trade and barter with other Aboriginal people in Canada, making it a constitutionally protected treaty right for you to engage in that activity. The AIP also says you may transport furs, meats, bird parts etc in accordance with federal and provincial law. In other words, you will be treated like any other status Indian. If the way you were transporting goods was creating public health or public safety issues, one of the governments may start to try to impose regulations on you. Kitsumkalum government itself could also pass laws to require permits if wanted to.
148. Is there a training session for this?
We are unsure as to what you are referring to. Kitsumkalum will continue to give more meetings in regards to various issues. In regards to the environmental assessment, you can find more information at http://www.eao.gov.bc.ca/ or www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca.
149. In regards to trap lines, will any overlaps between Kitsumkalum territories and business ventures be addressed in the Treaty? Can we negotiate for these trap lines?
Trap lines continue to exist as they do now. If they are abandoned on Treaty Settlement Lands (or TSL), they will automatically go to Kitsumkalum. Kitsumkalum can try to buy any traplines it would like to.
150. Can we use trap lines to negotiate Impact Benefits Agreements?
It’s not really a trap line that triggers consultation so much as it is a government activity or decision that affects your Aboriginal or treaty rights. It is this consultation process that leads to IBA’s.
151. Who determines the number of resources (i.e. fish and animals) to control access to?
The Provincial Government maintains the responsibility to manage that. They must share sufficient information with the community. If Kitsumkalum felt that there was not enough information shared with the community, they could sue the government for violating the treaty.
152. Is it possible to bring together all 15 Tsimshian Nations to discuss the sharing of access to harvesting territories?
That would be ideal. Canada and BC tend to lead this process with other First Nations. Through the BCTC, Kitsumkalum has also attempted to reach out to other First Nations. Kitsumkalum is prepared to discuss and negotiate these matters with other Tsimshian, and it has already been engaged in some discussions with some of the other Tsimshian.
153. Was there an environmental assessment done with the BC Hydro line coming through our territory?
Yes. We suggest that you check at www.eao.gov.bc.ca to look for full details of this process on this particular case.
154. Where do we fit in with the Environmental Assessment Process if it is always changing, especially in regards to the current changes being brought about by the Federal Government’s Omnibus Bill?
No matter what changes the federal government makes to the environmental assessment process, it cannot escape its constitutional obligation to consult with First Nations. At the moment, the federal government often tries to use the EA process to meet that goal, which is fine as long as it meets that goal. In fact, the courts have already said in the Little Salmon/Carmacks case that the Crown cannot even try to use a treaty to negotiate away from this obligation. They say that the Crown can only use the treaty to negotiate better consultation processes not worse. So that obligation on the part of the Crown will continue even if they completely removed the EA process.
BAND COUNCIL COMMUNITY MEETING - NOVEMBER 15, 2014
155. As a result of the recent Tsilhqot'in decision, what changes are you making to the recently signed Kalum AIP?
No changes will be made to the Kitsumkalum AIP, which was concluded on January 22, 2013. However, as indicated all along, Kitsumkalum expects to negotiate more land and more cash during Final Agreement negotiations and the Tsilhqot'in decision strengthens the position of negotiators during those discussions.
156. Have you (the Treaty team) communicated with the true Kalum Hereditary Chiefs, that they now have Title and Rights to their Traditional Territory?
We presume you are referring to the recent decision in Spookw v. Gitxsan Treaty Society (2014), which included a challenge by Indian Bands and a few hereditary chiefs to the authority of the Gitxsan Treaty Society, composed mostly of other hereditary chiefs. While the courts ruled in favour of the Gitxsan Treaty Society, they did so on the basis that the Gitxsan Treaty Society had obtained a satisfactory mandate from the Gitxsan people through the BCTC process. In regard to Kitsumkalum and the AIP vote, the treaty negotiation team received a clear mandate from the Kitsumkalum people that their office must continue with Final Agreement negotiations. Prior to Final Agreement, the treaty team will, of course, consult with all Kitsumkalum people, including hereditary chiefs. Also during constitution work, the treaty office is engaging the community to consider increasing the role played by hereditary chiefs in a post-treaty Kitsumkalum government.
157. When are we going to have a discussion day on Kalum Treaty progress and plans going forward? Before Xmas 2014?
We understand your need to engage in dialogue with members of the Treaty team and of your community. The Band Council Community Meeting was meant to be the forum for open-dialogue between community members and the Treaty team. Due to time constraints – these things do happen – we were unable to allot time for Q&A. We are currently confirming details for a potential community meeting in January – with a focus on Constitution – that will include an update from Treaty during opening remarks and a brief Q&A period at the end. The focus of this meeting will be to collect input for the development of the Kitsumkalum Constitution. Please feel free to contact us at the Treaty office or visit us at your convenience. We uphold an open-door policy for community members and we encourage anyone to visit us to ask questions, instead of having to wait for community meetings.