Contributions to Support the Negotiation and Implementation of Treaties, Claims and Self-Government Agreements or Initiatives
On this page
- Legal and Policy Authority
- Purpose, Program Objectives and Expected Results
- Type and Nature of Eligible Expenditures
- Total Canadian Government Funding and Stacking Limits
- Method for Determining the Amount of Funding
- Maximum Amount Payable
- Basis on Which Payments will be Made
- Application Requirements and Assessment Criteria
- Due Diligence and Reporting
- Official Languages
- Intellectual Property
- Repayable Contributions
- Redistribution of Contributions
- Other Terms and Conditions
These terms and conditions apply to transfer payments made to support the negotiation process, to support the implementation process and to support the Treaty Commissions in their activities.
The Government of Canada is continually working with Indigenous communities to explore new ways of working together to advance the recognition and implementation of Indigenous rights and self-determination. The goal is to bring greater flexibility to negotiations based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.
The negotiation of treaties, comprehensive land claims, special claims, self-government agreements and reconciliation agreements establish the foundation for new relationships based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership which provide Indigenous groups with a solid foundation for self-reliance and for the improvement of social, cultural and economic conditions within their communities. Agreements will provide Indigenous governments with the clarity and certainty on Canada's responsibilities toward engaging with Indigenous peoples in a respectful, cooperative partnership–from coast to coast to coast. Existing policy authorities for advancing reconciliation all depend on funding these negotiation processes.
In British Columbia (BC), the British Columbia Treaty Commission (BCTC) was established in 1992 by agreement among the governments of Canada and BC and the First Nations Summit (collectively referred to as the "Principals"). The BCTC is an independent and impartial body with three main roles: facilitating negotiations including assisting the Parties in finding solutions and resolving disputes, allocating negotiation support funding to enable First Nation (FN) participation in the negotiations, and educating the public about treaty negotiations.
Implementation of Agreements
Implementation of negotiated final agreements marks the conclusion of negotiations and the beginning of a new relationship based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. Comprehensive Land Claim Settlement Acts establish and/or provide for various Implementing Bodies to be established to perform functions set out under Comprehensive Land Claim Agreements or accompanying Implementation Plans (in some cases referred to as Contracts) or other related Act(s) of Parliament.
Implementing Bodies receive contribution funding based on negotiated Implementation Plans, which establish funding levels typically for ten-year periods. Funding levels are adjusted from time-to-time based on workload volume and other project-specific activities such as public hearings for projects, as defined in the final agreement in accordance with agreed upon work plans and budget proposals. Contribution funding is used in these cases where the Government needs to ensure that specific functions are delivered by recipients, in accordance with agreements.
Treaty Commissions were created to enhance co-operative relationships between FN and Canada through mutual exploration of Treaty issues. The success of these explorations is seen in improved understanding of Treaties and Treaty relationships between First Nations and other Canadians and the promotion of enhanced, productive, respectful and harmonious relationships between the Parties and other Canadians.
The Treaty Commissions work with First Nations and the Government of Canada on Treaties which were signed with First Nations between 1701 and 1923 and are commonly referred to by the federal government as "historic treaties". They include the Treaties in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
There are currently two Treaty Commissions in Canada that address historic treaties: the Office of the Treaty Commissioner for Saskatchewan which was established in 1989 and the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba in 2003 and began its operations in 2005.
2. Legal and Policy Authority
Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Act, R.S.C., 1985, c.I-6., s. 4
3. Purpose, Program Objectives and Expected Results
The purpose of the program is to honour Canada's commitment to the negotiation of claims and self-government agreements as the best means for reconciling Aboriginal rights, as recognized and affirmed under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, with the sovereignty of the Crown. This includes supporting Indigenous participation in these negotiations.
The objective is to ensure that Indigenous groups can participate in the negotiation process on a level playing field. Further, with the participation of provincial and territorial governments, the objective is to negotiate claims and self-government agreements that provide Indigenous groups with a solid foundation for self-reliance and for the improvement of social, cultural and economic conditions within their communities.
The objective of the new Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination discussions is to foster interest and distinctions-based discussions while working toward the development and advancement of shared priorities through collaboratively developed mandates for Indigenous rights and self-determination agreements. Through these processes, the Parties will develop a common understanding of what is required to advance reconciliation based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership. This will also contribute to the renewal of the Crown-Indigenous relationship and work towards closing socio-economic gaps between Indigenous peoples and the rest of Canada to develop healthier, more sustainable communities.
In terms of specific claims, the objective is to address past grievances made by a FN against the federal government which relate to the administration of land and other FN assets and to the fulfilment of historic treaties.
The expected program result is the ability to continue negotiating, engaging and consulting with First Nations, Inuit and Métis groups to address their specific rights protected under Section 35 Rights of the Constitution Act, 1982 via the various negotiation processes, e.g. comprehensive land claim, self-government, specific claim and Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination discussions.
Implementation of Agreements
This Program supports the implementation of treaties and self-government agreements, advancing renewed treaty relationships and consultation and engagement on issues of importance to Indigenous peoples.
It aims to create and maintain ongoing relationships to support the fulfilment of Canada's legal obligations pursuant to both pre- and post-1975 treaties, while considering ongoing rights and interests of Indigenous peoples. This Program supports Indigenous communities in articulating their interests, participating in economic activities, and managing and developing land and resources, where applicable. It also helps to demonstrate the importance of treaties and related partnerships between the Crown and Indigenous peoples. This is achieved by honouring Canada's obligations as set out in final settlement agreements and treaties, and by improving collaboration between Canada and Indigenous peoples, particularly between Canada and pre- and post-1975 treaty groups. Creating and maintaining relationships that honour pre- and post-1975 treaties contributes to strengthened, healthy, self-reliant and sustainable Indigenous communities while promoting delivery of programs and services vital to the health and advancement of Indigenous peoples.
The Implementation of Comprehensive Land Claims, or Modern Treaties, and Self-Government Agreements are the basis for ongoing relationships between the federal Crown and Indigenous signatories. Their implementation requires Canada to meet concrete obligations ranging, for example, from one-time payment of funds, to the creation of structures, and ongoing engagement, as agreed upon by Indigenous partners and federal, provincial and territorial governments. They provide a concrete framework for improving the socio-economic outcomes of Indigenous modern treaty and self-government partners.
The purpose is to enable the provincially and/or regionally based Treaty Commissions to facilitate discussions amongst Canada, First Nation groups or their political representatives and provincial governments on a broad range of topics related to, or arising from, existing treaties. A Treaty Commission may also conduct or supervise independent third party research and conduct public information/education activities on a variety of treaty issues of concern to First Nations, the Government of Canada and usually the relevant provincial government.
The expected results and outcomes include improved understanding of historic treaties and treaty relationships; increased public support of self-government agreements; self-government agreements which reflect treaty relationships; and more harmonious, respectful and productive relationships between First Nations and non-Aboriginal Canadians.
In the Departmental Results Framework, this authority is listed under Rights and Self-Determination.
Eligible recipients include:
- First Nation (FN), Inuit, section 35 rights-bearing Métis groups, tribal councils, treaty, regional groups or other Indigenous organizations supporting the negotiation process.
- the British Columbia Treaty Commission (BCTC), as defined in the British Columbia Treaty Commission Act.
- First Nations Summit (the Summit), as defined in the British Columbia Treaty Commission Act.
- Provincial governments and third parties as identified in the various agreements.
Implementation of Agreements
Eligible recipients include:
- Aboriginal groups with final agreements;
- Provincial and territorial governments where there is a federal requirement to provide funding for implementation of agreements purposes; and
- Implementing bodies created by the final agreements and/or legislation carrying out implementation activities.
Eligible recipients include:
- Office of the Treaty Commissioner for Saskatchewan; and
- Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba.
Eligible Initiatives and Projects
Eligible initiatives are specific claims, self-government, comprehensive claims, incremental treaty and non-treaty, recognition of rights and self-determination and special negotiations (e.g. stepping stone approaches, sectoral agreements and treaties, core treaties, etc.).
Eligible projects include: the research associated with the development and submission of specific claims, including historical and legal facts; enhancing and building the capacity and expertise of Indigenous groups who wish to participate or are participating in one of the eligible initiatives; supporting negotiation and achievement of key initiatives and milestones related to eligible initiatives; community consultations on the negotiated agreements; conducting and managing the enrolment and ratification processes, and other necessary pre-treaty closing costs such as tripartite translation review.
Treaty Related Measures (TRM) in the BC treaty negotiations process are intended to remove barriers to progress in negotiations, to prepare First Nations to implement eventual treaties, and afford a measure of protection to Indigenous interests during the period that an agreement is being negotiated.
Eligible projects include: studies and research related to land and resource management, governance, economic development; FN Participation in management processes: e.g. joint fisheries committees, parks cooperative management planning processes; Transition activities; Constitution Development; Community Planning; Preparing for Effective Date; and Overlap Consultations.
Implementation of Agreements
Eligible initiatives and projects include implementation activities defined in the final agreement and implementation plans.
This includes activities related to the operations of the Treaty Commissions which are formed jointly with First Nations organizations or governments and may also include Provincial or Territorial governments. These bodies will be considered to be arms' length.
5. Type and Nature of Eligible Expenditures
Eligible expenditures include, but are not limited to: salaries and wages; honoraria; accommodations; hardware and software needed to support research and data collection, analysis and reporting; communications; administrative costs; contracted professional (including legal support) and technical services; purchased and/or leased equipment, supplies and material; meeting costs, information and training services; community consultation initiatives (e.g. hospitality expenses, facilities); land surveys, environmental assessments; and travel costs.
On behalf of Canada, the BCTC may only provide negotiation support contributions to eligible recipients for the purpose of enabling the preparation of and participation in treaty negotiations with Canada and BC, and where parties agree, other related agreements as contemplated by the BCTC Agreement.
Eligible expenditures for TRMs include: salaries and wages, honoraria, short-term information and training services, contracted professional and technical services, facility rental and hospitality services for community engagement activities, administrative costs, purchased and/or leased assets, and communication and information materials for community consultation.
All necessary operating costs incurred directly by the recipient required to discharge its duties and activities pursuant to the British Columbia Treaty Commission Act.
For the First Nations Summit:
All necessary operating costs incurred directly by the recipient required to discharge its duties and activities as a Principal, as confirmed by the British Columbia Treaty Commission Act, in relation to the treaty process in BC, more specifically including:
- reimbursing travel and honoraria of the Summit Task Group,
- providing office, policy and legal support to the Summit Task Group
- hosting a regular forum of FN Chiefs from across the province who are participating in the treaty negotiations process, so that the Summit Task Group may consult with the Summit chiefs on treaty related issues and take direction in the form of mandating resolutions.
Implementation of Agreements
Eligible expenditures include all negotiated expenditures approved by all parties as outlined in the implementation plan (in the case of a comprehensive land claim) or for the implementation of activities and obligations.
Eligible expenditures include all expenditures normally consistent with the activities being performed by the Treaty Commissions and reflected in the budget falling within the scope of the purpose and powers of the Treaty Commissions.
6. Total Canadian Government Funding and Stacking Limits
Negotiation and Implementation
Total government assistance for the same purpose and eligible expenditures shall not exceed 100% of the eligible expenditures.
No other federal department contributes funding to the BCTC. Total government assistance for the same purpose and eligible expenditures shall not exceed 100% of the eligible expenditures.
The Treaty Commissions receive 100% of their core funding from CIRNA and total government assistance for the same purpose and eligible expenditures shall not exceed 100% of the eligible expenditures.
7. Method for Determining the Amount of Funding
Amount of funding is determined on an analysis of Canada, participating provincial governments and Indigenous negotiating partner jointly agreed upon work plan activities including a review of going rates as well as through the assessment of written project-specific proposals which will include: a description of the project objective(s), activities and deliverables, a budget outlining the program activities and costs, and, a cash flow projection based on the budget proposal, including identification of any additional funding sources.
In BC, the BCTC allocates funds to First Nations for the purposes of preparing for and participating in treaty negotiations based on the tripartite work plan and the First Nations' own work plan and budget submitted by the FN and approved by the BCTC. In making its allocations, the BCTC is bound by the terms and conditions of a contribution agreement among Canada, BC and the BCTC established for that purpose (which includes Allocation Criteria and Funding Guidelines). The BCTC then enters into a funding agreement with the FN, which includes a schedule of payments.
TRM and enhanced capacity building contribution amounts it will be determined through the assessment of project-specific proposals which will include: a description of the project objective(s), activities and deliverables; a budget outlining the estimated project costs associated with the proposed activities; a cash flow projection based on the budget proposal; and identification of any additional funding sources.
CIRNA will ensure that the contribution amount is at the minimum level required to achieve the proposed project objectives and the results expected from the recipient, and that the funding amount does not exceed the maximum total government assistance specified in the terms and conditions.
Each year the BCTC submits a request for operating funding, including a budget. A BCTC Operating Costs Agreement is prepared, which specifies the amount Canada and BC will provide for the operating costs of the BCTC and sets out the financial administration requirements to be met by the BCTC under the Agreement. The Agreement is signed by Canada, BC, the First Nations Summit and the BCTC.
First Nations Summit Operations
A Summit budget proposal requesting funding of $2,050,000 was approved for five years beginning in 2017-2018. Unlike funding for the BCTC, there is no cost-sharing agreement with BC to fund the Summit's operating costs.
Implementation of Agreements
Negotiated expenditures are approved by all parties and outlined in the implementation plan. The level of funding for the Cree is defined by the financial parameters established within the Tripartite Negotiation process.
Cree, Naskapi and Inuit Education
The level of funding for the Cree is defined by the financial parameters established within the Tripartite Negotiation process. By virtue of Article 16.023 of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA), this process involves the participation of the Cree, Quebec, including the Quebec Ministry of Education and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs (CIRNA) on behalf of Canada.
Section 16 of the JBNQA establishes the Cree School Board, which is a provincial board operating under Quebec's Education Act (1964) and is therefore subject to provincial rules and provincial standards. Canada and the Government of Quebec jointly fund the Cree School Board, and amounts are established by Budgetary Rules based on provincial standards. The Budgetary Rules define the terms and conditions which direct the eligible expenditures.
Similar Budgetary Rules apply to the Kativik School Board for Inuit Communities in Northern Quebec.
Section 11 of the Northeastern Quebec Agreement applies to the Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach, which operates a school under to Budgetary Rules for the Central Quebec School Board.
The level of funding will be determined based on detailed annual budgets and operating plans linked to products (outputs) or the provision of services. These bodies will be accountable through the terms and conditions of their funding agreements, their terms of appointment and possible articles of incorporation.
8. Maximum Amount Payable
The maximum amount payable to any one recipient will not exceed the amounts outlined in the following table.
|Recognition of Rights Discussions
|Comprehensive Claims and Treaties
(typically under 1500*)
(typically over 1500*)
|Indigenous groups representing multiple Communities
|Large organizations on a Treaty / Regional / Provincial scale
| *The department will determine the most appropriate source for the population figures depending on the Indigenous group which has responsibility for such statistics.
**Where applicable, maximums are higher to allow for travel costs in remote regions of the country.
TRMs and Enhanced Capacity Building
The maximum amount payable to a recipient in any one year will be administered according to the following stages of negotiations:
- a recipient in Agreement-in-Principle negotiations will not exceed $500,000 a year;
- a recipient in Final Agreement negotiations will not exceed $1 million a year;
- a recipient in the pre-effective date stage of negotiations (between Final Agreement and Effective Date) will not exceed $1.5 million a year.
Implementation of Agreements
The maximum amount payable to any one recipient will be in accordance with the agreed upon activities contained in the final agreement and implementation plan.
The department has in place, a formalized mandating process for the implementation of comprehensive land claim agreements, which includes Central Agency participation. The mandating process sets out the maximum amounts payable to each recipient.
The maximum amount payable will not exceed $1.5 million, or commission specific amounts to be approved by Treasury Board.
9. Basis on Which Payments will be Made
Payments will be based on the deliverables, as laid out in the contribution agreements. The final payment in the contribution agreement may be withheld until such time as interim audit report or financial audit report has been received by the Department. In the event that final payment must be made prior to the receipt of an interim audit report or a final audit report, and the audit report, when received, indicates that an unallowable expenditure has been reimbursed, CIRNA may recover that amount from future contribution arrangement being entered into with that recipient.
Advance payments will be based on need as identified in the recipient's cash flow forecast. Payments will be made in accordance with the type of funding authority entered into (Set, Fixed, Flexible), and will also be based on program risk, recipient risk and departmental cash management and agreement management policies.
10. Application Requirements and Assessment Criteria
Negotiations Support Funding
Recipients may apply for negotiation support funding once their recognition of rights and self-determination proposals, self-government or claims submissions have been formally accepted for discussion or negotiation by the department. Eligibility for funding will be assessed according to the following criteria:
- Funding assistance is provided based on project/initiative proposals, including detailed budgets prepared by eligible recipients and are based on jointly approved main table workplans.
- These work plans/proposals must outline the full extent of activities to be undertaken by or on behalf of the Indigenous community, including the purpose and objectives of the work plan/proposals estimated completion dates and sufficiently detailed costing of the activities planned.
- The applicant's record of achievement, if any, in previously funded endeavors.
- The application of sound financial management practices as demonstrated by the applicant's audited financial statement.
- The establishment of measurable project objectives.
- The cost-effectiveness of the work plans/proposal.
- The project has the potential to complement and support other existing or proposed capacity or research initiatives.
- Funding is to be trackable at the FN, Inuit and Métis community level and section 35 rights-bearing Métis groups.
- There must be no other source of funding for that portion of the project available to the applicant within the federal system.
Under the BC Treaty Negotiations Process
First Nations file a Statement of Intent (SOI) with BCTC to indicate their intention to negotiate a treaty with Canada and BC. The SOI is received and reviewed by the BCTC. The BCTC will advise the governing body whether the SOI satisfies the criteria and whether it has been accepted. If the SOI is accepted, the BCTC will hold an initial meeting within 45 days with representatives from BCTC, Canada and BC, as well as the Indigenous group. This meeting allows the BCTC and the parties to exchange information, consider the criteria for determining the parties' readiness to negotiate and generally identify issues of concern. All parties must demonstrate that they have a commitment to negotiate, a qualified negotiator, sufficient resources, a mandate, and a ratification procedures.
First Nations submit their funding requests to the BCTC. The BCTC assesses the funding request in accordance with the Allocation Criteria agreed to by the Principals and the Funding Guidelines and allocates funding to the FN. The BCTC submits annually, an aggregate budget request to the Principals for negotiation support funding for all First Nations negotiating in the BC treaty negotiations process.
Treaty Related Measures
TRMs will be considered in accordance with the following general criteria:
- Funds are to be spent on measures that advance the progress of treaty negotiations, promote good governance and cooperative relationships for First Nations, or prepare First Nations to implement eventual treaties;
- TRMs will be time-limited, with provisions that reflect the temporary nature of the agreements. Normally, a TRM's duration will not exceed five years, unless renewal provisions specify otherwise. Where appropriate, treaty provisions will replace TRMs upon the effective date;
- The recipient is a legal entity created for, or which has agreed to assume, the performance of specific functions to implement a particular treaty-related measure;
- Specific prerequisites for a particular TRM have been met;
- Project proposals will include: a description of the project objective(s), activities and deliverables; a budget outlining the program activities and costs; and a cash flow projection based on the budget proposal, including identification of any additional funding sources; and
- With regards to the BC treaty process, where required, a signed cost-sharing agreement between Canada and the province of BC.
Recipients who are former public office holders must respect and comply with the Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders and the Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for the Public Service (2003). Recipients who are former public servants must respect and comply with the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service. Where an applicant employs or has a major shareholder who is either a current or former (in the last twelve months) public office holder or public servant in the federal government, compliance with the Code must be demonstrated.
Pursuant to the British Columbia Treaty Commission Act, the BCTC shall submit its proposed operating budget to the Principals (Canada, BC and the First Nations Summit) each year for their review and approval. The BCTC will not commit or purport to commit the Principals to expenditures except as provided for in the BCTC Operating Costs Agreement.
First Nations Summit Operations
The First Nations Summit will not commit to expenditures of these contributions, other than in the manner described in the approved budgets and as required to support the First Nations Summit's role as a Principal as confirmed by the British Columbia Treaty Commission Act.
Implementation of Agreements
Funding will be made to qualified recipient organizations carrying out an implementation activity as defined in the final agreement and implementation plans.
CIRNA officials will periodically review the recipient's progress, demonstrated capability and results achieved in light of CIRNAs objectives. Future funding decisions will take into account the success of previous undertakings.
11. Due Diligence and Reporting
To support a reduction in the reporting burden, performance measurement data will be collected using various methods and sources. Recipient requirements will be set out in departmental recipient reporting documents. Frequency of reporting will be based on recipient risk.
12. Official Languages
Where a program supports activities that may be delivered to members of either official language community, access to services from the recipient will be provided in both official languages where there is significant demand and Part IV of the Official Languages Act is applicable. In addition, the department will ensure that the design and the delivery of programs respect the obligations of the Government of Canada as set out in Part VII of the Official Languages Act.
13. Intellectual Property
Where a contribution is provided for the development of material in which copyright subsists, conditions for shared rights will be set out in the funding agreement.
14. Repayable Contributions
Provisions for repayable contributions do not apply. Any contributions made to private firms under these programs are not intended to generate profits or to increase the value of a business.
15. Redistribution of Contributions
Where a recipient delegates authority or further distributes contribution funding to an agency or a third party (such as an authority, board, committee, or other entity authorized to act on behalf of the recipient), the recipient shall remain liable to the department for the performance of its obligations under the funding agreement. Neither the objectives of the programs and services nor the expectations of transparent, fair and equitable services shall be compromised by any delegation or redistribution of contribution funding.
Recipients have full independence in the selection of such third parties and will not be acting as an agent of the government in making distributions.
16. Other Terms and Conditions
Thank you for your feedback