Memorandum of Understanding Between Canada, British Columbia and Wet'suwet'en as agreed on February 29, 2020

Immediate

  1. Canada and British Columbia (B.C.) recognize that Wet'suwet'en rights and title are held by Wet'suwet'en Houses under their system of governance.
  2. Canada and B.C. recognize Wet'suwet'en aboriginal rights and title throughout the Yintah.
  3. Canada, B.C. and and the Wet'suwet'en commit to the negotiations described below (commencing immediately).
  4. B.C. commits to engage in these negotiations consistent with the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.
  5. Canada and B.C. will provide the necessary resources to Wet'suwet'en for these negotiations.
  6. The parties agree these negotiations are to be intensively mediated by an agreed upon mediator.

Agreement to be negotiated over the next 3 months

  1. Legal recognition that the Wet'suwet'en Houses are the Indigenous governing body holding the Wet'suwet'en Aboriginal rights and title in accordance with our Inuk Nuatden.
  2. Legal recognition of Wet'suwet'en title as a legal interest in land by Canada and B.C.
    1. There will be no impact on existing rights and interests pertaining to land until jurisdiction is transferred to the Wet'suwet'en.
    2. Jurisdiction that flows from Wet'suwet'en Aboriginal rights and title will be transferred to Wet'suwet'en over time based on an agreed upon timetable (with the objective for transition of some areas within 6 months and a schedule for the remaining areas of jurisdiction thereafter).
    3. In some cases the jurisdiction that is transferred to the Wet'suwet'en will be exclusive and in some cases it will be shared with Canada or B.C.
  3. The areas of jurisdiction that will need to be addressed include the following (without limitation):
    1. child and family wellness (6-month timeline)
    2. water (6-month timeline)
    3. Wet'suwet'en Nation Reunification Strategy (6-month timeline)
    4. wildlife
    5. fish
    6. land use planning
    7. lands and resources
    8. revenue sharing, fair and just compensation, economic component of Aboriginal title
    9. informed decision making
    10. such other areas as the Wet'suwet'en propose
  4. Title will be implemented and jurisdiction (exclusive or shared) will be transferred once specifics on how Aboriginal and crown titles interface have been addressed; this includes the following:
    1. transparency, accountability, and administrative fairness mechanisms including clear process and remedies to address grievances of any person, pertaining to all areas of shared and exclusive jurisdiction
    2. clarity on the Wet'suwet'en governance structures, systems, and laws, that will be ratified by the Wet'suwet'en and will be used to implement their title to the extent required to understand the interface between the Crown and Wet'suwet'en jurisdiction
  5. This agreement is to be ratified by Canada, B.C. and Wet'suwet'en under their respective systems of governance.
  6. The agreement will be binding on Canada, B.C. and the Wet'suwet'en and all of their agencies, departments and officials as they conduct their business together as governments.

Agreement to be negotiated over the next 12 months

  1. The specifics of how Aboriginal and Crown titles interface.
  2. The agreement recognizing Wet'suwet'en rights and title will be protected by Section 35 of the Constitution, 1982.

Signed on the 14th day of May 2020.

Signed on behalf of the WET'SUWET'EN nation

by the Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs

Woos (Frank Alec)

Madeek (Jeff Brown)

Knedebeas (Warner William)

Kloum Khun (Alphonse Gagnon)

Hagwilneghl (Ron Mitchell)

Gisday'wa (Fred Tom)

Na'Moks (John Ridsdale)

Goohlaht Lay'oh (James Namox)

Smogelgem (Warner Naziel)

Signed on behalf of her Majesty the Queen
in right of Canada
by the Minister of
Crown-Indigenous Relations

______________________________________
Hon. Carolyn Bennett

Signed on behalf of her Majesty the Queen
in right of the province of British Columbia
by the Minister of
Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation

______________________________________
Hon. Scott Fraser

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