What is the Nenqay Deni Accord?
The Nenqay Deni Accord (the Accord) is a “made-in-Tŝilhqot’in” agreement signed on February 11, 2016 that sets out a five-year framework for discussions between British Columbia and the Tŝilhqot’in Nation to advance and achieve a lasting reconciliation for the Tsilhqot’in peoples.
The Accord sets out eight “pillars” of reconciliation that the Province and the Tŝilhqot’in will work to achieve:
- Tsilhqot’in Governance;
- Strong Tsilhqot’in Culture and Language;
- Healthy Children and Families;
- Healthy Communities;
- Education and Training;
- Tŝilhqot’in Management Role for Lands and Resources in Tsilhqot’in Territory; and
- Sustainable Economic Base.
Why was the Accord developed?
The Accord was developed as a way to try to create a better future for Tŝilhqot’in Citizens. After the Supreme Court of Canada recognized that the Tŝilhqot’in hold Aboriginal title to their lands, British Columbia and the Tŝilhqot’in Nation agreed to find a better path forward. The Accord is the first of its kind, developed jointly by British Columbia and the Tŝilhqot’in Nation, based directly on the input from the Tŝilhqot’in communities about their priorities and aspirations.
How will these negotiations affect the land that I use for my livelihood within the Tŝilhqot’in Territory?
The Accord includes a number of ways to recognize the role of the Tŝilhqot'in as caretakers of the lands within the Tŝilhqot’in Territory. Tŝilhqot’in Communities will have the opportunity to identify geographic areas within the territory as a starting point for negotiations to transfer these lands to the full ownership and control (similar to the Declared Title Area) of the Tŝilhqot’in. There will be strategic land use planning and other efforts on the remainder of the Tŝilhqot’in territory to make sure the Tŝilhqot’in have a meaningful role in deciding how lands and resources are managed, and that Tŝilhqot’in values are respected. British Columbia and the Tŝilhqot’in Nation have committed to developing new structures and processes for land management that reflect the principles of free, prior informed consent, as set out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
How was the map of Tŝilhqot’in Territory in the Accord determined?
The map of Tŝilhqot’in Territory in the Accord is taken from the Aboriginal title claim filed by the Tŝilhqot’in Nation in 2003. Like many First Nations, the Tŝilhqot’in filed this Aboriginal title claim to protect against a potential 6 year limitation period after the Delgamuukw judgment as a protective measure. The Tŝilhqot’in Nation recognizes that the Accord map of Tŝilhqot’in Territory overlaps with the asserted Aboriginal title and rights of neighbouring First Nations and is actively taking steps to try to resolve these boundary issues in a positive way.
How is this different than a Treaty?
First, the Accord is not part of the modern treaty process. It was negotiated as a “one-of-a-kind” framework for negotiations that is directly shaped by the Tŝilhqot’in communities. It is a “made-in-Tŝilhqot’in” agreement and process.
Second, the funding provided in treaty is in the form of loans. The funding for negotiations under the Accord is provided to the Nation from BC, and does not take the form of loan to the Nation.
Third, the Accord commits British Columbia and the Tŝilhqot’in Nation to make progress and show results in critical areas for the Tŝilhqot’in peoples, even as the longer-term negotiations continue.
Fourth, the Accord does not call for the surrender, modification or extinguishment of Aboriginal title. The Accord is based on the recognition of Tŝilhqot’in Aboriginal rights and title and not the surrender of any rights or title.
The Accord is…
The Accord is NOT...
- An Agreement between BC and the Nation to a process of improving the lives and lands of the Tsilhqot’in – a first step to achieving lasting reconciliation for the Tŝilhqot’in;
- An Agreement that protects Tŝilhqot’in Title, Rights & cultural values;
- An Agreement for the entire Tŝilhqot’in territory;
- A way to have more say over what happens on the land and in our communities.
- Not a final Agreement or modern treaty;
- Not an agreement that can take away Tŝilhqot’in Title, Rights or ways of life;
- The “Declared Title Area” is not being negotiated;
- Not a way for the BC Government to have more control over the Tŝilhqot’in.
Why didn’t the Federal Government sign onto the Accord as well?
During the development of the Accord, the Federal Government did not have the direction from the Prime Minister to be involved in negotiations.
On January 27, 2017, the Federal Government and the Tŝilhqot’in Nation signed a Letter of Understanding, setting out the framework for initial reconciliation discussions between Canada and the Tŝilhqot’in Nation. Going forward, we expect collaborative work from British Columbia, Canada and the Tŝilhqot’in Nation where needed to advance reconciliation and improve the lives of the Tŝilhqot’in Communities and Citizens.
How do I get more information?
You may inquire by phone to the TNG Negotiations & External Affairs branch at (778) 799-2145 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.