John Rustad, Nisga’a Lisims sign monumental agreements.

Bulkley-Necahko MLA took part in an agreement signing with Nisga'a Lisims government last week in New Aiyansh.

Nisga’a chiefs and members of the negotiating team in Ottawa

Jesse Cole

Caledonia Courier

The MLA for Bulkley-Nechako, John Rustad, was part of a monumental and long awaited agreement signing between the government of British Columbia and the Nisga’a  First Nation.

Rustad, who serves as the Minister of  Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, signed the agreement at a conference in New Aiyansh last week.

Rustad was joined by the Minister of the Environment Mary Polak and Mitchell Stevens, president of the Nisga’a Lisims government, as well as other Nisga’a Lisims government legislature.

A number of agreements were signed at the conference including the Nisga’a Real Property Tax Coordiation Agreement (RPTCA) and the Kitsault Mine Economic and Community Development Agreement (ECDA).

The RPTCA guarantees the Nisga’a Lisims government the right to collect property taxes from people living on Nisga’a Lands regardless of whether or not they are Nisga’a citizens. Furthermore, the RPTCA extends those property rights to affect industrial projects such as pipelines that are built on or pass through Nisga’a territory.

The ECDA supports the continuation and advancement of the Kitsault Mine, located near Prince Rupert and gives a share of the provincial mineral tax revenues from the mine. Estimates suggest the total sum will be around $43 million in revenues over the next 16 years. The ECDA agreement marks the 15 ECDA agreement signed by the provincial government and the first signed between British Columbia and the Nisga’a Nation.

The agreements were designed to help the implementation of the Nisga’a Treaty, the first modern treaty agreement in British Columbia, which came into effect in 2000.

Modern treaties help by giving increased rights and title to First Nations group and remove some of the constraints of the Canadian Indian Act giving First Nations communities more tools for self-governance.

Of the agreement signing Rustad said “this was a very significant day and I’m very honoured to have been a part of it.” Adding that agreements like the ECDA “helps First Nations communities engage with the economy and reap the benefits of expansion and developments on their traditional territories.”

Rustad added that the sharing of mining and clean energy revenue is good news for both the Nisga’a communities and for the people of British Columbia.  h

Nisga’a Lisims president Stevens said “these agreements affirm the ongoing government-to-government relationship between Nisga’a Nation and British Columbia necessary for the effective implementation of the Nisga’a Final Agreement [the Nisga’a Treaty] .” He added “the benefits of these agreements will make significant contributions towards our vision to achieve sustainable prosperity and improve the quality of life for our Nisga’a citizens.”

 

Just Posted

College of New Caledonia announces early childhood educator training

Fort St. James student may benefit from the program expansion

Vulnerable B.C. communities receive funds for structural flood mitigation

Communities throughout British Columbia that have been partial to flood risks in… Continue reading

B.C. students to benefit from internship investment

As someone who has ample experience going through the often tedious process… Continue reading

BC Coroners Service urges public to drive with care

With summer officially here and upcoming road-trips with family or friends looking… Continue reading

Highlights and winners from the Binche Fishing Derby

The third annual event was a massive succes

BC Games’ Athletes Corner: What’s your favourite pump up song?

Check out what’s playing in the earbuds of BC Summer Games athletes before they compete

BC Wildfire update on Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

UPDATED: Evacuation alert issued due to Dog Creek Trail Wildfire

UPDATED: The Dog Creek wildfire has grown substantially over the past two… Continue reading

RCMP help to save goats from wildfire

The fast-approaching wildfire, sparked Thursday, forced the evacuation of five homes

VIDEO: Near drowning captured on popular B.C. river

Search and Rescue manager says the popular pastime of floating in the summer is inherently dangerous

Crosswalk vandalism leaves black mark for Cowichan as B.C. Games begin

Rainbow crosswalk defaced just days after being painted

Photo gallery: BC Games Day 1

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

UPDATED: Anti-pipeline campers digging in as eviction deadline expires

The City of Burnaby had ordered the Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters out for violating bylaws

Trump was taped talking of paying Playboy model: AP source

Source says former personal lawyer Michael Cohen secretly recorded discussion prior to 2016 election

Most Read