May 11, 2022 - Gitlaxt'aamiks, B.C. - Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, British Columbia Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, Nisga'a Lisims Government
The governments of Canada, British Columbia and the Nisga'a Nation are commemorating the 22nd anniversary of the signing of British Columbia's first modern Treaty, the Nisga'a Final Agreement. Today, Eva Clayton, President of the Nisga'a Lisims Government; the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations; John Horgan, Premier of British Columbia; and Murray Rankin, British Columbia Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, recognized the occasion at the Special Assembly of the Nisga'a Nation.
The anniversary is being commemorated this week at the Special Assembly of the Nisga'a Nation, whose theme is "Through the Generations - With Resilience and Vision - Working Today for a Prosperous Tomorrow." This is the Nations' first in-person gathering since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A landmark in the relationship between Canada and Indigenous Peoples, the Nisga'a Agreement came into effect on May 11, 2000, marking the end of a 113-year journey - and the first steps in a new direction. Treaty relationships between partners are a critically important pathway to meaningful reconciliation. They help to support strong, healthy, thriving communities that benefit people today and for generations to come. An outstanding example of modern Treaty relationships, the Nisga'a Final Agreement is studied internationally as a model of hope, trust and government-to-government cooperation.
The Final Agreement put control over land and resources back in the hands of Nisga'a Nation, recognizing Nisga'a Lands (2,000 square kilometres) and provides constitutionally-protected Treaty rights, including Treaty rights to hunt and fish in the Nass Wildlife Area and Nass Area.
Over the past few decades, the Nisga'a have made progress in building their government and institutions, as well as facilitating economic development, including the sustainable development of natural resources and efforts such as the proposed Ksi Lisims LNG Natural Gas Liquefaction and Marine Terminal Project.
Through investments in tourism, the Nisga'a Nation continues to attract Canadian and international audiences to the natural beauty of Nisga'a Lands, creating jobs and economic opportunities not only in Nisga'a communities but also in the broader Nass Valley. These projects have generated employment, business opportunities and revenue.