The Nisg̱a’a Nation and the Government of British Columbia marked the 19th anniversary of the Nisg̱a’a Treaty with a flag ceremony at B.C.’s Parliament Buildings.
“We are very honoured by the kind gesture of our Treaty partner, the Government of British Columbia, in hosting this Nisg̱a’a Treaty anniversary event,” said Eva Clayton, President, Nisg̱a’a Nation. “This truly demonstrates that the Province values our government-to-government relationship and shared responsibility in the ongoing implementation of the Nisg̱a’a Treaty.”
On May 11, 2000, the Nisg̱a’a Nation became the first modern treaty Nation in British Columbia. This landmark event ended any authority of the federal Indian Act and established a new relationship between British Columbia, Canada and the Nisg̱a’a Nation.
“I am proud to be a citizen of the Nisg̱a’a Nation with deep roots in Laxgalts’ap,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training and MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant. “This anniversary represents another major milestone in the Nation’s journey to self-determination. This treaty is empowering Nisg̱a’a citizens through education, cultural and economic opportunities, cultivating thriving conditions for generations to come.”
The treaty anniversary flag display in the Hall of Honour is a demonstration of a shared commitment to reconciliation and an important reminder of the unique government-to-government relationship between B.C. and treaty Nations.
“As the first Nation to achieve a modern treaty in B.C., I congratulate the Nisg̱a’a Nation for all it has accomplished as a leader in self-governance and self-determination,” said Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. “I am excited to see what the generation of young people who have grown up only knowing themselves as citizens of a self-governing treaty Nation will achieve as the leaders of tomorrow.”
Since the treaty came into effect, the Nisg̱a’a people have thrived as a self-governing Nation, providing health care, cultural education and economic opportunities for Nisg̱a’a citizens.
“Congratulations to the Nisg̱a’a Nation on your hard work, building a future where the Nisg̱a’a people can thrive and grow,” said Carolyn Bennett, federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations. “We are proud to work with you on your journey to self-determination as you continue to create new opportunities for future generations.”
Preserving and promoting culture is a priority for the Nisg̱a’a Nation. A significant achievement of the Treaty has been the return of more than 300 Nisg̱a’a treasures to the Nation. Those artifacts are now housed in a permanent place of honour in the Nisg̱a’a Museum, which ranks among the world’s finest collections of Northwest Coast Indigenous art.
Medical care for members is provided by the Nisg̱a’a Valley Health Authority. It is responsible for public health-care programs and operates a diagnostic centre and satellite clinics in Nisg̱a’a villages. The authority provides physician services, home care, cultural community health representatives and administration of non-insured health benefits.
- The Nisg̱a’a Nation, with more than 7,000 people, is represented by the Nisg̱a’a Lisims Government.
- Nisg̱a’a citizens live in the Nisga’a villages of Ging̱olx, Lax̱g̱alts’ap, Gitwinksihlkw and New Aiyansh. Nisg̱a’a citizens also live beyond the Nass Valley in Terrace, Prince Rupert, Port Edward, Metro Vancouver and throughout North America.
- The treaty negotiation process provides a framework for three parties – First Nations, B.C. and Canada – to work toward the common goal of reconciliation and to build a new relationship through treaties.
- Some major components integral to modern treaty-making include Indigenous Rights, self-government, land and resources, financial agreements, fishing and forestry.
Nisg̱a’a Lisims Government: http://www.nisgaanation.ca/