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Haida Gwaii agreement

05-Aug-2010 [243]

• Kunst’aa Guu – Kunst’aayah Reconciliation Protocol

People who work to enliven their neighbourhood parks often find it difficult to reconcile their wishes for their communities with the management-oriented language and centralized city bureaucracy.

The Haida Nation of Haida Gwaii (formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands) and the British Columbia Government found a creative way to express their different understandings and priorities in the Kunst’aa Guu – Kunst’aayah Reconciliation Protocol they negotiated together.

The British Columbia website offers the context for this agreement, including the following statements:

"Reconciliation - Moving Forward

In 2005 the Province and the First Nations Leadership Council entered into a New Relationship based on respect, recognition and accommodation of Aboriginal title and rights; respect for each others’ laws and responsibilities; and for the reconciliation of Aboriginal and Crown titles and jurisdictions.

The Province has completed several agreements with First Nations in B.C. that create the opportunity for comprehensive and lasting reconciliation:..." This difference in positions, and the agreement as to how the two groups will move forward in a collaborative manner is clearly set out in the Preamble to the Protocol:


A. The Parties hold differing views with regard to sovereignty, title, ownership and jurisdiction over Haida Gwaii, as set out below.

The Haida Nation asserts that:

Haida Gwaii is Haida lands, including the waters and resources, subject to the rights, sovereignty, ownership, jurisdiction and collective Title of the Haida Nation who will manage Haida Gwaii in accordance with its laws, policies, customs and traditions.

British Columbia asserts that:

Haida Gwaii is Crown land, subject to certain private rights or interests, and subject to the sovereignty of her Majesty the Queen and the legislative jurisdiction of the Parliament of Canada and the Legislature of the Province of British Columbia.

Notwithstanding and without prejudice to the aforesaid divergence of viewpoints, the Parties seek a more productive relationship and hereby choose a more respectful approach to co-existence by way of land and natural resource management on Haida Gwaii through shared decision-making and ultimately, a Reconciliation Agreement.

B. This Protocol confirms an incremental step in a process of reconciliation of Haida and Crown titles.

C. The Parties agree to focus on shared and joint decision-making respecting lands and natural resources on Haida Gwaii and other collaborative arrangements including socio-economic matters pertaining to children and families.

D. The Parties agree that this Protocol represents the development of a new relationship between the Parties.

E. Under this Protocol, the Parties will operate under their respective authorities and jurisdictions.

To see the rest of the 18 page agreement, see