About - Accomplishments and Benefits of Nisga'a Treaty
The Nisga’a Final Agreement is British Columbia’s first modern treaty. A landmark in the relationship between Canada and its Aboriginal peoples, the Treaty came into effect on May 11, 2000, marking the end of a 113-year journey — and the first steps in a new direction. On that date, the Indian Act ceased to apply to Nisga’a people.
The Nisga’a Final Agreement is the first treaty in British Columbia to provide constitutional certainty in respect of an Aboriginal people’s Section 35 right to self-government. It recognizes Nisga’a Lands and opens the door for joint economic initiatives in the development of the Nisga’a Nation’s natural resources.
An example of hope, trust, and cooperation, the Nisga’a Final Agreement is being studied by governments and Aboriginal peoples the world over. Nisga'a Lisims Government is already seeing the benefits of being free from the confines of the Indian Act.
In the period since we assumed control over the governance of ourselves and our own lands, we have numerous accomplishments as a Nation to improve the Quality of Life of our people. A small list of these milestones includes the following:
- Village roads improved.
- Highway connection to Gingolx.
- Fishery Bay — we’ve been given direction not to provide easy access into Fishery Bay. Nisga’a Fisheries Committee is the Committee to look at possible improvement.
- Economic development – this was developed early into the Treaty which eventually led to the Business Development Fund Act to provide the Nation with opportunities in economic development.
- Economic development funding to the Village Governments and Urban Locals. • Training dollars to the Village Governments and Urban Locals.
- Tax rebate which is shared amongst the Village Governments. • Nisga’a Youth Councils have been developed and funded by NLG.
- Community Preventative Program fund was created on savings from Nisga’a Child & Family Services. This money can fade away as NCFS moves forward.
- Management Information System funding is provided to each Village Government.
- enTel — bringing high-speed Internet connectivity to the Nass and beyond. • Urban home program — renovation grant and new home purchase grant.
- Sports & Recreation — $100,000 in our budget for Sports and Recreation. We will most likely revisit this in our final budget exercise.
- Nisga’a Elections, whether it be general or by-elections, we no longer need to go to Canada/BC to have our elections. Citizens can go to the NADRB if there are complaints about our elections. During one election one whole Village Government was removed, the Executive had to address this and a joint decision was made to appoint individuals to oversee the operations of the Village.
- Code of conduct for elected people. Since 2000 we have had to remove 2 individuals.
- Nisga’a Commercial Group (NCG) is owned 100% by the Nisga’a Nation. One of most difficult things to do was sever the ties of economic development from government — this needed to be done to avoid conflict.
- Nisga’a Foundation — The Nisga’a Foundation was established by NLG.We will move forward to establish a Board of Directors to oversee the Foundation and to secure funding.
- Establishment of the Nisga’a Commercial Opportunity Fund — Contributions to this Fund include Canada $5.5 million, BC $5.5 million, for a total of $11 million.
- Shortly after effective date, the Nisga’a Nation authorized an allocation of $3 million to assist with the fishery fund. That fund is now well over $13 million.