The BCTC Six-Stage Process
Treaty negotiations pass through six stages. HTG currently in Stage four of the process — the Agreement in Principle (AiP) stage.
Stage One: Statement of Intent
A First Nation wanting to initiate treaty negotiations must file a statement of intent with the Treaty Commission. The statement must:
identify the First Nation and its members;
describe the First Nation’s traditional territory;
indicate that the First Nation has a mandate to enter into and represent its members in treaty negotiations; and
appoint a formal contact person.
Stage Two: Preparation for Negotiations
The three parties confirm their commitment to negotiate a treaty, establish that they have the authority and resources to commence negotiations, have a means of developing their mandates and broadly outline what each of them wishes to negotiate.
Stage Two: Readiness Documents
By the end of Stage Two, Canada and BC must also submit readiness documents to the Treaty Commission in which they identify community interests in the region and establish ways to address those interests. The table moves on to Stage Three when the Treaty Commission is satisfied that the parties have met these requirements.
Stage Three: Negotiation of a Framework Agreement
The Framework Agreement defines the issues the parties have agreed to negotiate, establishes the objectives of the negotiation, identifies the procedures that will be followed and sets out a timetable for negotiations. The parties expand their public consultation in local communities and initiate a program of public information.
Stage Four: Negotiation of an Agreement in Principle
Substantive treaty negotiations take place in this stage. Land, resources, self-government and financial components usually form part of the negotiations. The Agreement in Principle sets out the key objectives and elements to be part of the treaty.
Stage Five: Negotiation to Finalize a Treaty
At this stage, outstanding legal and technical issues are resolved. Formal signing and ratification of the agreement brings the parties to Stage Six.
Stage Six: Treaty Implementation
The plans to implement the treaty are put into effect or phased in as agreed. The table remains active to oversee the implementation of the treaty.