Chronology of Events Leading to the Final Agreement with the Nisga'a Tribal Council

Nisga'a chiefs travel to Victoria to demand recognition of title, negotiation of treaties and self-government.

Nisga'a establish their first Land Committee to begin the campaign for recognition of territorial rights.

Nisga'a send a petition to the Privy Council in England seeking to resolve the land question.

The Nisga'a Land Committee re-establishes itself as the Nisga'a Tribal Council.

The Nisga'a Tribal Council initiates litigation in the B.C. Supreme Court on the land question. The case becomes known as the Calder case, named after the Nisga'a chief at that time, Frank Calder.

In the Calder case, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously recognizes the possible existence of Aboriginal rights to land and resources, but is split on whether or not the Nisga'a still have title. This decision prompts the federal government to develop a new policy to address Aboriginal land claims.

Canada begins negotiations with the Nisga'a Tribal Council.

Canada and the Nisga'a Tribal Council sign a bilateral framework agreement which sets out the scope, process and topics for bilateral negotiations.

The B.C. government, recognizing that its involvement is necessary to resolve questions around lands and resources, formally joins Canada and the Nisga'a Tribal Council at the negotiating table.

Canada, B.C. and the Nisga'a Tribal Council sign a tripartite framework agreement, which sets out the scope, process and topics for negotiation.

The three parties sign an interim protection measures agreement regarding resources and land use.

Federal and provincial negotiators hold some 250 consultation and public information meetings in northwestern B.C.

February 12
Negotiators representing the Nisga'a Tribal Council, Canada and B.C. announce they have reached an Agreement-in-Principle for approval by their principals (the President of the Nisga'a Tribal Council, the provincial Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and the federal Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development).

February 15
Canada, British Columbia and the Nisga'a Tribal Council initial an Agreement-in-Principle, which will form the basis for the first modern-day treaty in B.C.

February 25
At a special assembly in New Aiyansh, the Nisga'a people vote to approve the Agreement-in-Principle by a margin of over 90 per cent.

March 22
Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Ronald A. Irwin and B.C. Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Cashore join with Nisga'a Tribal Council President Joseph Gosnell, Sr., to sign the Agreement-in-Principle at a ceremony in New Aiyansh. The signing by the responsible federal and provincial ministers and the tribal council president completes the process of ratification ofthe Agreement-in-Principle and paves the way for negotiations of a Final Agreement.

Negotiations are undertaken to draft the Final Agreement based on the provisions of the Agreement-in-Principle. Most of the negotiations are held in Vancouver, but negotiation sessions are also held in Victoria, Terrace, Prince Rupert as well as New Aiyansh and other Nisga'a communities.

July 15
Negotiators representing the three parties conclude negotiations on all aspects of the Final Agreement.

August 4
Negotiators initial the Final Agreement in New Aiyansh.

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