Table of Contents

PREAMBLE

WHEREAS:

The Maa‑nulth First Nations assert that they have used, occupied and governed their traditional territories from time immemorial;

The Maa‑nulth First Nations have never entered into a treaty or land claims agreement with the Crown;

The Constitution Act, 1982 recognizes and affirms the existing aboriginal and treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples of Canada, and the courts have stated that aboriginal rights include aboriginal title;

The Maa‑nulth First Nations assert that they have an inherent right to self-government, and the Government of Canada has negotiated self-government in this Agreement based on its policy that the inherent right to self-government is an existing aboriginal right within section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982;

The Maa‑nulth First Nations' existing aboriginal rights are recognized and affirmed by the Constitution Act, 1982, and the Parties have negotiated this Agreement in accordance with the British Columbia treaty process to provide certainty in respect of those rights and to allow them to continue and to have effect and be exercised as set out in this Agreement;

Canada and British Columbia acknowledge the perspective of the Maa‑nulth First Nations that harm and losses in relation to their aboriginal rights have occurred in the past and express regret if any actions or omissions of the Crown have contributed to that perspective, and the Parties rely on this Agreement to move them beyond the difficult circumstances of the past;

Canada and British Columbia acknowledge the aspirations of the Maa‑nulth First Nations to preserve, promote and develop the culture, heritage, language and economies of the Maa‑nulth First Nations;

Canada and British Columbia acknowledge the aspirations of the Maa‑nulth First Nations and the Maa‑nulth‑aht to participate more fully in the economic, political, cultural and social life of British Columbia in a way that preserves and enhances the collective identity of the Maa‑nulth‑aht as the Maa‑nulth First Nations and to evolve and flourish as self-sufficient and sustainable communities; and

The Parties are committed to the reconciliation of the prior presence of the Maa‑nulth First Nations and the sovereignty of the Crown through the negotiation of this Agreement which will establish new government-to-government relationships based on mutual respect.

NOW THEREFORE THE PARTIES AGREE AS FOLLOWS: