• Mar. 17, 2004 7:00 a.m.

An understanding about working together for the well-being of the land, waters and people of Haida Gwaii.

BETWEEN: The Council of the Haida Nation ( CHN )
AND: The Municipalities of Port Clements and Masset.

Referred to collectively here as the “Communities”.

This agreement is without prejudice to the position of the Haida with respect to the sovereignty, ownership or title in any proceeding before the court or administrative tribunal or in negotiations including treaty negotiations and the powers, duties and functions of the Communities.


1.1 The CHN appreciates the Communities efforts to invest in and improve the quality of life and stability of the Island Community in calling for responsible management of the resources of Haida Gwaii.

1.2 The Communities respect the hereditary responsibilities and the relationship of the
Haida people to Haida Gwaii.

1.3 The CHN accepts that the people who called the islands home are most affected by
land use and title disputes and invites the participation of the Communities to
represent their interests in talks regarding conciliation of Crown and Haida title.

1.4 The Communities recognize the co – existence of Crown and Haida aboriginal title
and accept the offer of the CHN to participate in conciliation talks.

1.5 The Parties will ensure that individuals and Communities will not be disposed, and that any unlawful disposition of the past will be the liability of the Crown.

2.1 People seek security for their families and homes.

2.2 It is our intention to work together in common cause for the benefit and betterment of the
Island Community.

2.3 The management of land and marine resources over the past 50 years have put the islands in a precarious position.

Decisions that affect our communities and people have been made by off island regimes

that have little or no personal interest in the future of these islands. Decisions that affect the well-being of our communities and these islands should be made by the people who live
on island in accordance with the spirit of this agreement.

2.5 The harmonization of Haida and Crown titles need not be divisive or exclusive and can be taken as an opportunity to make things better.

2.6 The CHN and Communities affirm that forestry, fishing, tourism and all other development must be done in a planned and deliberate manner and that a healthy environment is the foundation upon which the future of our cultures, economy and society depend.

2.7 The parties accept as a standard the rights afforded in the Canadian Constitution.

2.8 The parties will work together to combat racism in all its forms.


3.1 To work together in designing a future that will support a healthy environment and create
a sustainable islands economy.

3.2 To initiate a series of discussions regarding the possible outcomes and implications of
Haida aboriginal rights and title, strategic land and coastal resource use planning, islands governance, economic development and other related topics described in section 4.

3.3 All parties signing this document agree to participate in the spirit of respectful
co-operation to design a relationship that is meaningful and balanced now and in the future, regardless of future court decisions. The parties further agree to support and promote jointly made decisions as a result of discussions held as outlined in 3.2 above.

4.1 The CHN and the Communities will design decision making framework to guide
subsequent discussions.

4.2 An initial discussion will be held regarding the implications and possible outcomes of
Haida aboriginal rights and title. Differences between the treaty process land selection model and the approach of the Haida, including court actions, need to be understood.

4.3 Investigate and discuss options and design an all island governance model.

4.4 Discuss areas of interest to the communities and residents related to the reconciliation of Haida and Crown title, such as property rights.

4.5 Identify and discuss economic development opportunities and needs for future growth including but not limited to:
– Community Forestry
– Access to timber for local mills and manufacturers
– Reestablishment of a local Marine economy
– Tourism

4.6 Support a strategic land and coastal resource use plan for the islands that incorporates
local knowledge with science.

4.7 Identify innovative ways to make adjustments and transitions associated with the
outcomes of land and marine use planning.

4.8 Review the management of forest and marine resource industries such as logging, fishing and tourism. This will include establishment of a Haida Gwaii Forest Council to aid in the cooperative development of innovative solutions that will promote sustainable planning and management initiatives.

4.9 Define infrastructure, social development needs and opportunities and identify their solutions. Examples: education and health care.

4.10 Other matters as the parties deem necessary.

5.1 A schedule of meetings will be prepared monthly, quarterly or otherwise as need be, as
agreed to by both parties in consultation and consideration of the topics for discussion. All meetings will be public and open.

5.2 An Islands wide symposium or conference will be held once per year so that major
subjects can be discussed in a large public forum.


6.1 This accord is a living document, subject to changes identified through community dialogue and agreement.


7.1 This to accord is subject to ratification by the Haida Nation and the Communities as
appropriate to our various organizations and councils.



1) The definition of sustainability as per the ICSI consensus document: “For the present generation to have the use of natural resources, without compromising the same opportunities for future generations.
2) Conciliate means to bring together, assemble, union. To overcome, as distrust or hostility. To render accordant or compatible: reconcile.
3) Harmony. The phrase “in harmony with” is synonymous with “in agreement, conformity or accordance with”.

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