The Kitselas Treaty Team and negotiators from both the Governments of BC and Canada usually meet monthly to negotiate chapters in the Final Agreement.
The Kitselas Negotiations Team is made up of:
• Kitselas Treaty staff person Clarisa Spencer
• Kitselas Chief Negotiator, vacant
• Tsimshian First Nations Treaty Society Chief Negotiator Gerald Wesley
• Negotiations Advisor Mark Stevenson
The Tsimshian First Nations Treaty Society (TFNTS) represents both Kitselas and Kitsumkalum First Nations at their respective negotiations table. Therefore, while both nations are negotiating their own final agreements, the nations and treaty teams work closely together.
The British Columbia Treaty Commission (BCTC), known as the ‘Keepers of the Treaty Process’ are at the negotiating table as well.
Each negotiations session usually lasts three days. Negotiations are broken down into sessions, with each session scheduled on separate days:
1. Chief Negotiators Session
Where all of high level discussions and decisions are made regarding the Kitselas Final Agreement. This includes important agenda items such as overlap consultation, strength of claim, Forestry Agreements, land and cash offers, and the Final Agreement closing plan.
2. Main Table Working Group
Where Working Group updates are reported, and edits to the Final Agreement language are negotiated and decided. Various language proposals are brought to this table and depending on the Chapters being discussed, edits to the Final Agreement are made here.
Where allocation for Food, Social and Ceremonial fish and other species are discussed, and Final Agreement Chapter language is decided on and inserted into the Final Agreement.
Treaty Related Measures (TRMs)
Aside from negotiating the actual Treaty, the Kitselas Treaty Team along with hired experts in the field, do data collection, host community meetings, and complete research, to support our position on any given topic at the negotiating table.
All of this costs money. For example, funds for consultants, meeting spaces, refreshments, copying documents, and the labour it takes to complete these tasks.
Most First Nations do not have the extra resources to complete these tasks without Treaty Related Measures (TRMs). TRMs are money that helps us complete these tasks. They are designed to help First Nations move negotiations along, by addressing their concerns and help them undertake required work while treaty negotiations are underway.
TRMs do not need to be paid back; they are not part of the treaty loan. TRM funds are provided from Canada to facilitate research on specific topics to support Treaty negotiations. All funds are monitored by the Federal Government, and reporting is mandatory.