Today (Friday), ten First Nation organizations and institutions gathered in Vancouver to sign a Protocol on Cooperation and Communication. The signatories commit to coordinating their efforts to support capacity development in governance and governance administration in First Nation communities in British Columbia.

“I am pleased that BCAFN is joining this group of organizations committing to work together in support of increasing First Nations’ capacity in exercising their inherent rights of self-determination and self-government,” said Regional Chief Terry Teegee. “As Chair of the Assembly of First Nations Chiefs Committee on Economic Development, one of my main priorities is supporting national and regional First Nations economic development organizations. I believe that we are stronger when we work together to advocate for inclusion of the inescapable economic component of Aboriginal Title.”

The protocol voices the pressing need to assist all First Nations in BC in moving beyond the existing fiscal relationship with the Crown and the delivery of delegated programs services. The protocol also addresses the need for relevant and effective information sharing to support First Nations in key fiscal issues, capacity development, and exercising their inherent right of self-determination, self-government, including authorities and jurisdictions. The protocol will help support First Nations to drive fiscal discussions and develop capacity in a manner that supports the work of their respective First Nation governments.

The signatory organizations affirm their intentions to work together in a cooperative manner and to provide support for one another’s efforts to advance the recognition, respect and accommodation of Aboriginal Title and Rights, Treaty Rights and to improve the lives of First Nations people in British Columbia.

The Signatories include:

• British Columbia Assembly of First Nations
• The First Nations Summit
• The Union of BC Indian Chiefs
• The First Nations Financial Management Board
• The First Nations Tax Commission
• The First Nations Finance Authority
• The Lands Advisory Board
• The Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of BC
• The First Nations Public Service Secretariat
• The New Relationship Trust