Agreement - in - Principle
The Kitselas have been at the negotiating table since 1996. Of the six stages of the treaty process, the Kitselas are currently nearing the completion of the fourth stage, which is an Agreement - in - Principle. The Agreement - in - Principle or AIP determines what the Final Agreement will look like but it is not legally binding. It is like a rough draft that will be tweaked slightly when the Kitselas move into the Final Agreement negotiations.
The AIP is the most intensive stage of the treaty process. Throughout this stage the Kitselas, Government of Canada, and Province of British Columbia have identified a number of agreements that will form the basis of the Final Treaty. Each agreement is represented as a section of the AIP. For example, one section will deal with the environment or another education. All sides have to agree before it is included in the AIP. This is how the AIP will set up the groundwork for a Final Agreement. Once the general terms of the AIP have been agreed to, the Government of Canada and Province of British Columbia will present an offer of cash and land to the Kitselas.
As most parts of the province are privately owned lands or may have other tenures (forest or mining) or other interests (such as railway or road) it takes a great deal of time for the Province to identify lands that will meet the interests of both the Kitselas and the rest of the province. The anticipated offer is a very important milestone in the negotiations. The Kitselas Negotiators will bring the offer back to the community and recommend that the Kitselas have an opportunity to vote on whether or not they would like to continue with the negotiation process based on the terms set out in the AIP.
Settling a treaty is the best way to preserve the lands that remain available in this province and to benefit financially form full participation in the economy. A treaty will also entrench Aboriginal Rights for the Kitselas in the Canadian Constitution rather than remaining loosely defined through the courts. The Kitselas will have an opportunity to once again be a self-sustaining nation. We will do it by ourselves for ourselves and build a strong community.
The choice is still yours, if you do not fully understand any element of the Treaty negotiations or have any questions please be in touch with our office...
Contact Holly Spencer at 250-635-8882 ext 242 or email
Understanding the Agreement-in-Principle
Description: This introductory booklet explains the purpose behind each chapter in the Agreement-in-Principle. The Agreement-in-Principle is still being negotiated - once it is complete it is subject to approval by the Kitselas people through a ratification vote. It is important to understand that an Agreement-in-Principle is NOT a Final Agreement and is NOT legally binding.
Below is a series of booklets in electronic format detailing the various chapters of the AIP (originally published and distributed in 2008):