Treaty Negotiations

Treaty Negotiations

Cowichan Tribes is currently in Stage 4 of the BC Treaty Process as a part of the Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group (HTG). HTG represents Cowichan Tribes, Halalt First Nation, Lake Cowichan First Nation, Lyackson First Nation and Penelakut Tribe in their negotiations with British Columbia and Canada. Our Chief Negotiator is Robert Morales. While HTG negotiates on behalf of these five nations together at the main negotiating table, each nation will have a separate agreement should negotiations progress to Final Agreement and Implementation.

Stage 4 of negotiations is the longest and hardest, as the three parties talk through major issues to create an Agreement in Principle, known as an AiP. The AiP is the first draft of the Treaty and will provide a basis for the Final Negotiations in Stage 5. HTG, British Columbia, and Canada have been working hard on the AiP since 1999. AiP work involves sitting down with negotiators from all parties and discussing the basic principles of each future Treaty chapter and resolving any conflicts between the parties with respect to those principles. 

Treaty History

Treaty History

1992 – BC Treaty Commission established

1993 - Chiefs of Malahat, Cowichan, Halalt, Lyackson, Penelakut, Lake Cowichan and Chemainus sign an accord to work together

1993 – Stage 1: Chiefs submit a Statement of Intent to negotiate to the BC Treaty Commission

1993 - Stage 2: Canada, British Columbia, and the Chiefs meet to determine Readiness to Negotiate

1994 – Malahat First Nation departs to join a Douglas Treaty negotiating group

1994 - Hul'qumi'num Treaty Group created to negotiate on behalf of Cowichan, Halalt, Lyackson, Penelakut, Lake Cowichan and Chemainus.

1995 – Cowichan Tribes appoints an Elders Advisory Committee

1996 – Ernie Elliott appointed as Chief Negotiator

1997 – Stage 3: Framework Agreement for negotiations is ratified by HTG nations

1999 – Stage 4: Negotiations for an Agreement in Principle begin

2000 – Robert Morales appointed as Chief Negotiator for HTG

2006 – HTG petitions the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the issue of private lands

2014- Stz’uminus First Nation departs HTG to pursue alternatives to Treaty

2015 – HTG, Canada, and BC agree on accelerated AiP negotiations