What is Reconciliation?
Founded on the Heiltsuk Potlatch concept, Heiltsuk & the Federal and Provincial Governments have entered into the Haíɫcístut Reconciliation process, to negotiate a new Government to Government relationship.
What is Haíɫcístut?
Haíɫcístut is a Heiltsuk word that means “To turn things around, and make things right again.”
Moving forward into the future with a strong past, the Heiltsuk have entered into the Haíɫcístut: Reconciliation process with the Federal government of Canada and the Provincial government of BC. This process focuses on the social well-being within the following subject areas:
1. Infrastructure and Housing
2. Employment, Training & Economic Development
4. Health & Wellness
5. Lands & Environment
7. Marine and Fisheries
Haíɫcístut Technical Team
Lead Negotiator: Kelly Brown
Assistant Negotiator: Saul Brown
Earl Newman Sr.
Harvey Humchitt Sr.
Heiltsuk Tribal Council
P.O. Box 880
Bella Bella, B.C.
Phone: (778) 213—8161
Fax: (250) 957—2858
Introduction to the Haíɫcístut Reconciliation Process
Moving forward into the future with a strong past, the Haíɫcístut process focuses on the social well being of the following priority house posts:
2. Economic Development
4. Marine & Fisheries
Through this Heiltsuk driven process, we will continue to progress with the intent of governing beyond the Indian Act, reconstituting ourselves as a self-governing people, and strive towards managing wealth instead of poverty.
In collaboration with the Federal and Provincial Governments, we envision a healthy and functioning community. We aim to balance the economy and the environment as we meet the needs of our people.
We are creating a path forward that respects both our connection to the land and sea, and our Heiltsuk responsibility of stewardship, while building a robust and prosperous economy.
There is a housing crisis in the Heiltsuk community. We see the reconciliation process as means to address this crisis. The current INAC housing regime is not working, this is an opportunity to look beyond general scope on how INAC delivers housing. Housing influences many aspects of life: individual health and well-being, educational achievement, social interactions, labor market attachment and community identity. From a broader economic standpoint, the housing sector provides employment, creates investment opportunities and stimulates and supports economic activity. Through the Tiny Homes Project, a partnership between Heiltsuk, University of British Columbia, FPInnovations, the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, and Mitacs, we will work towards developing environmentally appropriate, sustainable, and affordable housing to the Heiltsuk community. We aim to build 4 to 8 more tiny homes by next year.
Economic Development Sector:
It is our vision that Heiltsuk economic development should be owned, based and driven by the Heiltsuk Nation and people. We seek to build a viable, integrated & robust economy for the Heiltsuk Nation, and secure capacity to create economic opportunities and benefits for the Heiltsuk Nation. We shall utilize an integrated and holistic approach to Heiltsuk Economic Development, while respecting Aboriginal Title and Rights of the Heiltsuk People. While asserting those Aboriginal rights throughout the economic development process. We shall foster and promote the health and well-being of all Heiltsuk peoples, and seek out meaningful employment and economic opportunities with education and employment embedded in all economic development.
The Heiltsuk language is a cornerstone of Heiltsuk culture and way of life, and we want our language to not only survive, but to thrive for our future generations. Language revitalization and preservation is one of the highest priorities within our community and as such, it is one of highest priorities at the reconciliation discussions. We envision fluent speakers emerging out of this reconciliation initiative, and to have the Heiltsuk language spoken conversationally. We commit to working together as Nation, sharing resources, ideas, time, and responsibility for the process of revitalizing and safeguarding our Heiltsuk language. Speaking our Heiltsuk language is a form of healing for Heiltsuk people and territory.
Building on existing language programs, we will work towards revitalizing the Heiltsuk language through programs like immersion so that we can restore it into the daily lives of Heiltsuk people.
Marine and Fisheries Sector:
We believe that both natural and cultural resources must be sustained to maintain and safeguard our direct connection to our territory and their resources. The rights and opportunities of the Heiltsuk people to hunt, fish, harvest, trap and otherwise use the land and sea resources for cultural, spiritual, sustenance, economic and trade uses must be assured and take precedence over all other uses, as identified in the doctrine of priority. For too long the Heiltsuk have sat on the side-lines while others have realized economic well-being off of the resources in our territory. Heiltsuk marine economic development and diversification is required to create both employment and entrepreneurial opportunities to manage our marine resources based on our traditional laws, knowledge and values. These values respect our balance with nature, recognize the connection between the land and sea, and understand the importance of educating our children and leaving resources for our children’s children. We will focus on building opportunities such as one shellfish aquaculture opportunity for the first year, two for the second year, and so on. We strive to provide ample opportunities for economic growth for the Heiltsuk, as well as sustaining entities such as the Bella Bella Fish Plant. While asserting our Heiltsuk title and rights, we will use our traditional laws and knowledge, and participate in a co-jurisdictional relationship with other levels of government. It is our vision to create a healthy marine environment, a strengthening of our cultural, spiritual, linguistic, political and social freedoms, and a sustainable economy that allows Heiltsuk people to once again thrive as Marine People.
In closing, the Hemas, Heiltsuk Tribal Council, and the technical support team are committed to keeping you informed and actively participating in this process of reconciliation. We want you to feel comfortable engaging with both the leadership and staff that are involved in this process. We are optimistic there will be successful opportunities throughout the next three years. Canada has identified Heiltsuk as leaders in reconciliation. We see ourselves as leaders of our era, reasserting Heiltsuk values of title and rights and responsibility. Please watch out for community and other engagement sessions.
Reconciliation News Release
@GCnewsroom Tweet (INET POSTWEB publishes):
The @HeiltsukCouncil, Government of #BritishColumbia and #GoC celebrate the signing of the Tuígila “to make a pathway forward” Agreement, which will provide a framework for negotiations on a tripartite level. #reconciliation @BCGovNews @GCIndigenous
Ministerial Twitter account (Min. Bennett - @CrownIndigenous) Tweet:
We signed a tripartite agreement with @HeiltsukCouncil & the Gov’t of #BritishColumbia to implement title rights & self-government. The Tuígila Agreement (to make a pathway forward in #Heiltsuk) is a tangible step in #reconciliation. @BCGovNews
@GCIndigenous Twitter account re-tweet Ministerial tweet
Ministerial Facebook message in the voice of the Minister of @CrownIndigenous
The Tuígila Agreement (meaning “to make a pathway forward” in the Heiltsuk language) was signed between the Government of Canada, the Government of British Columbia [TAG: @BCProvincialGovernment], and the Heiltsuk Tribal Council [TAG: @Hailzaqv]. This tripartite agreement represents an important step of coming together to frame discussions on the implementation of Heiltsuk title and rights, including self-government. + [link to news release]
GC Indigenous Facebook message to share @CrownIndigenous FB post
Reviewed by: Leslie Michelson, August 29, 2019
Approved by: John Kane, August 29, 2019
August 30, 2019 Vancouver, BC —
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
British Columbia Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
Heiltsuk Nation and the provincial and federal governments have joined together to take tangible steps toward reconciliation and recognizing and implementing Heiltsuk title and rights, outside of the courts and Treaty process.
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, the Honourable Scott Fraser, British Columbia’s Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation; along with Heiltsuk Nation Chief Marilyn Slett, and Arnold Humchitt, Heiltsuk Yimas, have signed the Tuígila “To Make a Path Forward” Agreement for Implementation of Heiltsuk Title, Rights and Self-government.
The Tuígila “to make a path forward” Agreement seeks practical solutions that will demonstrate a tangible commitment to reconciliation. Ultimately, Heiltsuk Nation seek title, rights and inherent jurisdiction to the whole of their respective territory. This agreement provides a framework for discussions towards achieving this goal.
The Tuígila Agreement provides a framework for the federal and provincial governments and Heiltsuk Nation to plan concrete steps to implement Heiltsuk Aboriginal title and rights, including self-government. It introduces a number of innovative approaches to negotiations on reconciliation.
The Agreement, along with the Haίƚcίstut: Framework for Reconciliation, will focus negotiations on collaborative support for a sustainable and healthy Heiltsuk economy, shared decision-making, revenue sharing, management of lands and resources, and jurisdiction. This includes discussions on Heiltsuk governance and management of lands in Heiltsuk territory, including the transition of Indian Reserves from Indian Act governance, as well as other parcels of land in non-common claim areas of Heiltsuk territory.
Future areas of focus will be determined through ongoing negotiations.
“With the signing of the Tuígila “to make a path forward” Agreement the Government of Canada, the Government of British Columbia, and the Heiltsuk Nation have taken an important step towards advancing reconciliation. I look forward to our future work together towards the implementation of Heiltsuk title and rights.”
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
“By signing this first-of-its-kind agreement, the Heiltsuk Nation is setting the pathway to negotiate the recognition of Title, Rights and Self-government outside of legal court cases and the Treaty process. Today’s agreement brings us one step closer to achieving the mandate from our people, which is to obtain a declaration of Title to our lands and waters, and for Heiltsuk to exercise maximum control over our territory.”
Chief Councillor Marilyn Slett
“Heiltsuk has provided a strong vision of Haíłcístut, or ‘turning things around and making them right again,’ which has laid the foundation for this innovative agreement. We truly have a new path forward as we work together with the Nation and Canada to find innovative and collaborative ways for the Heiltsuk to implement their title and rights.”
The Honourable Scott Fraser
British Columbia Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
“The Heiltsuk have always been proactive in advancing our Title and Rights, whether it be through the courts, in negotiations, or through direct action. Today’s agreement builds on this strong history, and represents a new path forward for reconciling our relationship with Canada and BC.”
Hereditary Chief Harvey Humchitt Sr.,
- The Heiltsuk word “Tuígila” means to make a pathway forward”.
- Heiltsuk traditional territory is located in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest, on the central coast of British Columbia. This community has a registered population of 2,470 people.
- On January 28, 2017, Canada and Heiltsuk signed the Haίƚcίstut: Framework for Reconciliation, which established a shared vision, principles and objectives. The parties also agreed to seek the realization of self-government and recognition of Aboriginal title and rights within Heiltsuk territory.
- On April 3, 2017, BC and Heiltsuk signed the Haίƚcίstut: Framework for Reconciliation, which established a shared vision, principles and objectives. The parties also agreed to seek the realization of self-government and recognition of Aboriginal title and rights within Heiltsuk territory.
- On July 25, 2019, Canada and Heiltsuk signed the Haíɫcístut Incremental House Post Agreement. The Heiltsuk word “Haíɫcístut” means to turn something around and make it right again.
- Canada and Heiltsuk will undertake consultation with neighboring Indigenous groups on the Tuígila Agreement for Implementation of Heiltsuk Title, Rights and Self-government.
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For more information, media may contact:
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
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