Agreement With Wet`suwet`en
On a single page, the agreement sets out an ambitious plan to reach agreements on Aboriginal rights and the title that the three governments have yet to achieve through decades of contract negotiations and litigation. Concluding within one year the agreements outlined in the agreement would be unprecedented in modern contract negotiations. In the year following the first signing, it is expected that a final agreement will be specifically linked to how land rights and titles will be associated with those of the Crown. During the upcoming negotiations, which were outlined in the agreement, the Business Leaders proposed to cooperate with the Chiefs and the Elected Councils and to commit the membership of Wet`suwet`en. While the form and nature of this commitment are for most issues of internal governance that must be reconciled by wet`suwet`s, these issues also have a broader impact on how the Crown will deal with and ensure its commitments of reconciliation to citizens. Federal and provincial governments will also have to follow a transparent process and an inclusive consultation process that takes into account the interests of wet`suwet`s and the broader interests of those who want to work with Wet`suwet`en for economic development in wet`suwet`en territory. Clarity and security in governance – for wet`suwet`s and the general public – are essential to moving forward on a constructive path. The agreement then obliges the parties to negotiate – through « intensive » mediation – the reaffirmation and implementation of the rights and title of Wet`suwet`en. The agreement breaks down this task in the areas of the agreement that will be negotiated over the next three months and 12 months: the elected leaders of five wet`suwet`s groups issued a statement on May 1, 2020, stating that they « did not accept and did not support a proposed Memorandum of Understanding on Rights and Titles with Canada or British Columbia. » An agreement with B.C. and Ottawa can help resolve pipeline disputes, but other Aboriginal groups are unfortunate « If the MOU continues, you will see more separation within the nation and they are already separating clans and clan members and houses, » he said.
The draft agreement aims to clarify many of these long-standing issues. Four elected leaders called for the withdrawal of the Memorandum of Understanding and argued that it had not been properly consulted by all members of the nation until hereditary chiefs claimed it had been ratified at the end of last month. After the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in restrictions in public meetings, meetings were held through Zoom. The draft agreement was finally circulated to the group councils on 7 May, after the hereditary chiefs had announced ratification. But early disagreements don`t mean the talks are doomed to fail, says Daum Shanks. « The conflict we see takes time to continue to permeate and does not automatically mean that this big deal is sloppy.