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The Haida Nation, British Columbia and Canada sign the Nang K’uula • Nang K̲'úulaas Recognition Agreement

CANADA, July 19 - From the Government of Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/crown-indigenous-relations-northern-affairs/news/2023/07/the-haida-nation-british-columbia-and-canada-sign-the-nang-kuula--nang-kuulaas-recognition-agreement.html

On Tuesday, July 18, 2023, the Haida Nation, British Columbia and Canada announced the conclusion of the signing of a co-developed recognition agreement. This is a significant step toward reconciliation, or Gud ad T’alang HlG̲ang.gulx̲a Tll Yahda • Tll yá’adee G̱ii gud ahl t’álang hlG̱ángulaang (“People working together to make it right”).

The Nang K’uula • Nang K̲'úulaas Recognition Agreement recognizes the Haida Nation as the holder of Haida Title and Rights—including inherent rights of governance and self-determination—and the Council of the Haida Nation as the governing body of the Haida Nation, authorized by the Haida Nation Constitution.

The signing ceremony formalizes the commitment of Canada to legally recognize the Council of the Haida Nation as the governing body of the Haida Nation through legislation, mirroring the work done by the Haida Nation and British Columbia this past spring with the passing of The Haida Nation Recognition Act.

This Agreement is a critical step toward reconciliation and serves as a foundation for the next set of agreements to be negotiated between the Haida Nation, British Columbia and Canada. Further negotiations will address the implementation of the Haida Nation’s inherent rights of governance and self-determination, and other priority topics under the GayGahlda “Changing Tide” Framework for Reconciliation.

Canada is committed to working with Indigenous partners to restore Nation–to–Nation relationships, implement their inherent right to self-determination and support communities as they move out from under the Indian Act and transition to self-government.

Quotes:

“By signing the Nang K’uula • Nang K̲’úulaas Recognition Agreement, both Canada and British Columbia have shown respect for the contemporary governance system of the Haida Nation. This work sets the stage for peaceful co-existence between governments in a way that doesn’t compromise the inherent title and rights of the Haida Nation. We look forward to taking the next steps in making things right.”

Gaagwiis (Jason Alsop), President of the Haida Nation

“The Nang K’uula • Nang K̲'úulaas Recognition Agreement is an important step toward reconciling and strengthening our Nation–to–Nation relationship with the Haida Nation, and the Haida Nation’s self-determination. This recognition is long overdue and rightfully owed. We look forward to working together, government to government, to build upon this renewed relationship, advance shared priorities, and work toward a better future.”

The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations

“Today, the Haida Nation, British Columbia, and Canada recognize each other in a government–to–government relationship. The Nang K’uula • Nang K̲'úulaas Recognition Agreement and the Haida Nation Recognition Act, which comes into force as provincial law today, are significant steps towards recognizing the Haida Nation’s inherent right of governance and achieving lasting reconciliation in Haida Gwaii.”

The Honourable Murray Rankin, B.C. Minister for Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation

Quick Facts:

  • Haida Gwaii is located roughly 100 kilometres west of the northern coast of British Columbia and is a group of over 200 islands, large and small, totalling approximately one million hectares (3,750 square miles). Haidas have been on Haida Gwaii since time immemorial.
  • The Council of the Haida Nation was formed as a national government in 1974, and the Constitution of the Haida Nation was formally adopted in 2003. The Constitution mandates the Council of the Haida Nation to settle the issue of Title and Rights and ensure that the Haida relationship with Haida Gwaii continues in perpetuity.
  • The Council of the Haida Nation has negotiated and signed agreements with other coastal First Nations, non-governmental organizations and local communities, and continues to work on agreements with both the federal and provincial governments.
  • In 2021, the Haida Nation, British Columbia, and Canada signed the GayGahlda “Changing Tide” Framework for Reconciliation, setting out an incremental approach for negotiating reconciliation agreements. The Nang K’uula • Nang K̲'úulaas Recognition Agreement is the first tripartite agreement reached under this renewed process of negotiations.
  • Both the Haida Nation and British Columbia signed the Agreement on April 4 and 24, 2023, respectively. British Columbia subsequently passed provincial enabling legislation, titled the Haida Nation Recognition Act, on May 9, 2023.
  • The next step is for Canada to introduce federal enabling legislation to bring the Agreement into full effect.
  • The Agreement does not change or preclude future changes to existing relationships or legal arrangements with the Skidegate Band Council or the Old Massett Village Council or their band members.

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