Coastal First Nations hold a strong connection to our land ongoing since time immemorial. Today we continue to maintain Aboriginal Rights and Title Rights to the lands in our Traditional Territories.
Aboriginal Rights and Title affirm our right to our Traditional Territories. And our right to maintain and protect the resources within our lands and waters.
Indigenous law – recognized in Supreme Court legal cases – supports our Aboriginal Rights and Title and guides how we care for our territory.
In British Columbia, there are two titles recognized in law – Aboriginal Title and Crown Title. Unlike elsewhere in Canada, treaties have not been negotiated between the government and most First Nations in BC.
Traditionally, First Nations had absolute power over our Traditional Territories, our resources, and our right to:
- Make and enforce laws
- Decide citizenship
- Manage our lands, resources and institutions
Our power as First Nations continues to rest with our communities. Like our Aboriginal Rights and Title, it comes from within the people and cannot be taken away.