First Nations Relations
The First Nations Relations Committee oversees all policy development work related to First Nations issues including treaty negotiations, negotiations outside the treaty process, and governance reform. UBCM supports local government participation in the treaty process and provides input on general policy issues as requested or required. The Committee's other key role is to support relationship building between First Nations and local governments through best practices and other initiatives.
Current Policy & Initiatives
Memorandum of Understanding with the Province
UBCM recently renewed its MOU with the Province, Local Government Participation in the New Relationship with First Nations in BC (2012) [PDF - 4.1 MB]. Building on past agreements, the MOU recognizes that local governments have a unique interest in negotiations (treaty and non-treaty) with First Nations and recognizes local governments as respected advisers to the provincial government. The current MOU essentially extends similar consultation principles that exist in the treaty process to New Relationship negotiations outside the treaty process. That is, the provincial government commits to consulting with local governments on negotiations that affect local government jurisdiction.
UBCM supports local government participation in the treaty process. UBCM provides input on general policy issues as requested or required. Recently, an important topic for local government has been the Common Table treaty discussions between Canada, BC and First Nations which were a series of discussions facilitated by the BC Treaty Commission in 2008. UBCM advocates for sufficient funding for treaty advisory committees for effective local government involvement in treaty negotiations. UBCM also promotes information sharing and dialogue between TACs.
In recent years UBCM's policy focus has expanded to include the Province's New Relationship negotiations outside the treaty process. Under the MOU with the Province, UBCM is responsible for monitoring provincial consultation with local governments on relevant negotiations with First Nations and disseminating information to members on concluded agreements.
Local Government - First Nation Relations
UBCM has a Protocol on Communication and Cooperation with First Nations Summit, as well as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Communication and Information Sharing with INAC. These agreements provide the framework for the initiatives that UBCM undertakes in the area of local government-First Nation relationship building such as the Community to Community Forum program. These agreements were originally signed in 2001.
Legislative Reform & Consultation
UBCM monitors and responds to legislative changes/proposals and other initiatives regarding First Nations that are relevant to local governments. UBCM also tracks key First Nation court decisions, particularly relating to consultation, and communicates to members on any implications to local governments arising from new rulings.
Policy Documents & Initiatives
Click here for policy documents and resources relevant to local government on First Nations issues.
Please refer to Funding Programs for information on funding programs administered by UBCM in support of local government - First Nation relationships.
Policy Analyst & Convention Coordinator
Phone: 604.270.8226, ext. 117