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

Local Government - First Nation Relations

UBCM has signed a Partnership Agreement with Reconciliation Canada [PDF - 3.4 MB], 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.

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.

Treaty Negotiations

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.

New Relationship

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.

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.

Related Programs

Please refer to Funding Programs for information on funding programs administered by UBCM in support of local government - First Nation relationships.


Local Government
CivicInfo BC
Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Metro Vancouver Aboriginal Relations Committee
Fraser Valley Treaty Advisory Committee

Ministry of Community, Sport & Cultural Development - Community Relations Branch
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations & Reconciliation (MARR)
MARR Regional Contact List [PDF - 201 KB]
The New Relationship

Aboriginal Affairs & Northern Development Canada (AANDC)
First Nation Profiles, AANDC

First Nations
First Nations Summit
Union of BC Indian Chiefs
BC Assembly of First Nations
Assembly of First Nations
First Nations Technology Council

British Columbia Treaty Commission


Bhar Sihota
Policy Analyst
604.270.8226 ext. 113

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