hishuk Ish ts'awalk
everything is one

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Treaty negotiations

The treaty negotiation process involves much work – the work of negotiating, the work of getting ready and the work of implementation.

First Nations leaders and the governments of Canada created the treaty process as a six-stage process. The stages are meant to guide the parties through negotiations. Ditidaht is in Stage 4 Agreement in Principle negotiations.

Stage 1

Statement of Intent: Only a First nation can initiate treaty negotiations. This happens when the Nation files a statement of intent with the BC Treaty Commission. The statement must:

  • identify the First Nation and its members;
  • describe the First Nation’s traditional territory;
  • indicate that the First Nation has a mandate to enter into and represent its members in treaty negotiations; and
  • appoint a formal contact person.
Stage 2

Preparation for Negotiations: The parties come together for an initial meeting. Each party must show it is prepared to negotiate a treaty, they the have a sense of what they want to negotiate, and submit readiness documents. The table moves to Stage Three when the Treaty Commission is satisfied the parties are ready.

Stage 3

Negotiation of a Framework Agreement: This stage is about defining the goals and objectives of negotiations. The parties discuss what they want to negotiate, and how they will make this happen. They also establish a timetable and the procedures (such as location of meetings) that will be followed. The parties also discuss a communications and public information program.

Stage 4

Negotiation of an Agreement-in-Principle: Treaty negotiations begin. The parties discuss everything set out in the Framework Agreement, including lands and resources, self-government, treaty rights, culture and heritage, water rights, and finances. The parties also discuss and negotiate how consultation will occur throughout the traditional territory after Treaty. The goal is to reach conceptual agreement on each of the key elements or topics that will form the basis of the treaty. These topics will be the subject of additional, comprehensive negotiations during the negotiation of the Final Agreement.

Ditidaht also identifies its proposed Treaty Settlement Lands at this stage, which will be subject to additional negotiations during both AIP and the negotiation of the Final Agreement. We won’t know the full extent of the Treaty Lands, until the negotiation of the Final Agreement.

Stage 5

Negotiation of a Final Agreement: Once the Agreement-in-Principle is completed, the parties move to the Stage 5, which is the negotiation of the Final Agreement – to find out what will be in the Final treaty, and whether this meets Ditidaht’s needs and interests.

This is where the parties have substantive negotiations on all aspects of the Treaty, and work to resolve and address all outstanding issues. This is also the stage where the real negotiations on the Treaty Lands happen.

During the Final Agreement negotiations, Ditidaht will get a complete understanding of what the Treaty will look like and what it will include. The Treaty will not proceed unless there is a successful vote on the Final Agreement by Ditdiaht, and the treaty is formally ratified by all parties. If Treaty is successful, the parties move to Stage 6 which is Treaty Implementation.

Stage 6

Treaty Implementation: Implementation is the hard work of turning the words of a Treaty into reality. This stage only happens after the First Nation votes to accept its Final Agreement. Implementation can happen all at once, or be phased-in over a period of time. The table remains active to oversee the implementation of the Treaty.

Incremental Treaty

On March 26, 2013, Ditidaht successfully negotiated and signed an Incremental Treaty Agreement (ITA) with the Province of British Columbia. The incremental treaty is a bi-lateral agreement with the Province that is separate and different from the treaty negotiations. The incremental treaty agreement provides DFN with early benefits by the Province transferring lands to Ditidaht at agreed-upon stages, even if Ditidaht never finalizes a treaty.

What are the ITA lands?

Incremental treaty lands are in addition to whatever lands we negotiate in the treaty. These early transfers return ownership of these lands to our people. Once transferred, these parcels of land will always be Ditidaht land – regardless of whether we achieve a final treaty or not. If we successfully negotiate a final treaty, the land will become treaty settlement land. Without a treaty, Ditidaht will continue to hold the land in fee simple.

Where are the ITA lands?

The incremental treaty provides early transfers of land at planned stages of treaty negotiations, as we reach specific milestones. Under the incremental treaty agreement, BC will transfer land parcels to Ditidaht at planned stages, as we reach the following negotiation milestones:

Land Parcel


Malachan Block B*

Malachan Block A*

How much

349.6 hectares

25.3 hectares

45.3 hectares


Signing of ITA (March 2013)

Signing of Agreement in Principle

Signing of Final Agreement

* Indicates Malachan blocks “A” and “B” (which are not the Reserve Malachan) will only be transferred subject to the ability to remove lands out of TFL 44. Otherwise, alternate lands are to be negotiated.

The Incremental Treaty lands include the Doobah lands parcel (349.6 ha), which the Province agreed to transfer to Ditidaht at the signing of the ITA on March 26, 2013:

The Doobah parcel is 349.6 hectares in size. It is located on the farthest entrance to the lake, and the entrance closest to the coast. Doobah is 7 times larger than our current reserve, Malachan. The parcel fits well with Ditidaht’s long-term land goals. It is the last remaining entrance to the lake not under our jurisdiction, giving us more say in how the lake is used and managed. It is also provides economic development opportunities in the area of recreation and tourism.

The Malachan ITA lands, Block B (25.3 ha) and Block A (45.3 ha) have been identified as lands negotiated for transfer when the AIP is signed, and when Final agreement is signed. The Malachan parcels are different from Ditidaht’s IR 11 Malachan. The Malachan ITA Lands will only be transferred subject to the ability to remove lands out of TFL 44. Otherwise, alternate lands are to be negotiated.

What are the benefits of ITA Lands?

Incremental treaty lands can be used immediately for economic development or to build capacity. The Nation can also hold onto the land as part of a larger land plan. Land is transferred when a First Nation signs an ITA, when a First Nation signs an Agreement in Principle and when a First Nation signs a Final Agreement (but before implementation).

Once transferred, these lands will always be Ditidaht lands. If we successfully negotiate a final treaty, the land will become treaty settlement land. Without a treaty, Ditidaht will continue to hold the land in fee simple.

How does the Incremental Treaty Agreement work?

The incremental treaty agreement provides lands to Ditidaht now, which creates opportunities for Ditidaht to obtain economic benefits before treaty, and encourages all of the parties to work hard to achieve a final treaty. When AIP is completed, more incremental treaty lands transfer. If Final agreement is approved, additional Incremental Treaty lands transfer, along with all of the other treaty settlement lands to be negotiated.

How are ITA Lands different from TSL?

The treaty settlement lands negotiated under treaty will include the incremental treaty lands, but will not be limited to the ITA lands. If Ditidaht ever reaches a Final agreement in the treaty process, the ITA lands will become treaty lands, and will be subject to Ditidaht’s full jurisdiction and control. Even if no treaty is reached, Ditidaht will continue to be fee simple owners of the ITA lands transferred, forever.

We are also negotiating a Strategic Engagement Agreement (SEA) to maximize our governance authority within our entire traditional territory (off-treaty settlement lands).

An SEA will help protect our aboriginal rights off-treaty settlement land, and create opportunities for co-management or partnerships. Co-management and partnerships throughout our territory is the key to making our treaty work – this is how we will create economic opportunities for our people.

Ditidaht has been negotiating at a common table with the Pacheedaht First Nation since 1996. The Pacheedaht are our neighbours and our relatives, and we share with them a common language. We are negotiating in parallel, meaning each Nation will have its own treaty if negotiations are successfully concluded.

Basic Security Training

Notice August 14-19 Basic Security Training- OFA Level-2 Course Jan 6 to 17-19

August 14, 2019


Basic Security Training -OFA Level- 2 Course

January 6 to 17th, 2020. Nanaimo B.C. 324 S. Terminal            Ave.

To: Ditidaht Members

This course is being put together by ABCB First Aid. Course Posters Attached with course cost. Ditidaht members can apply for the DFN Special Education Fund at DFN Community Services. This will cover the course cost only. It will not cover travel, meals and accommodation. This is a two-week course.

For further information. Please contact Jeff Hein- owner at 250) 753-2888.

I encourage all our Ditidaht members on Vancouver Island to apply if, interested.

Also, there are other courses available for different levels of First Aid and Safety.

The course is in response to industry demand for trained Security staff. Mr. Hein has informed me that it would easy to find work once the course is completed and written test passed.

Paul M. Sieber

DFN Natural Resource Manager


Course Description- Basic Security Training August 14-19 Notice


Governance (Band) Meeting

Governance Meeting September and November 2019


 Governance (Band) Meeting

Audit Review

When: September 21, 2019 @ 10 am

Where: Ditidaht Community Hall in Malachan


GOVERNANCE (Band Meeting)

Governance Policy/Portfolio Updates

When: November 2, 2019 @ 10am

Where: Ditidaht Community Hall in Malachan


Community Services Manager – Sunny Cooper Letter

Please see attached a letter provided by Sunny Cooper for all members to read.

Dear Nitinaht exit letter

We wish Sunny the best of luck in her future endeavors.



Notice About Food Fish

July 9, 2019

Food Fish 2019- DFN Membership Addresses- Contact Update’s.

To Ditidaht Members: 
The DFN Fisheries Department is planning for the 2019 Food Fish to membership.
Please update your addresses and contact information. If you have changed residences since last year and/or your phone/contact information.

You can e-mail or call in at 250) 724-3333 administration front desk. Or contact Paul M. Sieber or Darryl Tate- DFN Fisheries Manager to update your information.

Thank you,
Paul M. Sieber
DFN Natural Resource Manager

The Official Election Results are in.

The attachment is the notice of the Official Ditidaht First Nation Election Results.

Official DFN July 6, 2019 Council Election Results


Agreement in Principle – Signing June 28, 2019

The Ditidaht Council is pleased to announce that on Friday, June 28, 2019 the Ditidaht / Pacheedaht Agreement In Principle was signed.  After many years of work, our nation can now move into Stage 5 of the BC treaty process (final agreement negotiations).

Ditidaht Chief Councilor Robert Joseph, Pacheedaht Chief Councilor Jeff Jones, Premier John Horgan, and MP John Aldag, along with other government dignitaries and members of both Ditidaht and Pacheedaht, met on the traditional territory of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC for the official signing.

At its current stage, the treaty proposes $40 million to Ditidaht that would be paid upon implementation of the Final Agreement, plus economic development funds of $3 million.

The proposed treaty land entails our nation’s existing reserves, plus areas to be transferred from Crown land and the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Once we complete our final agreement, we will own 751 hectares of our current reserve lands, almost 4,000 hectares of crown land and 1,453 hectares of national park land in the south-eastern portion of Vancouver Island.

The province has also pledged to establish a 54 km gravel forest road from Cowichan Lake to the end of Nitinaht Lake to benefit the Ditidaht Community upon approval of the Final Agreement (treaty).

The Ditidaht negotiators foresee our nation becoming more empowered to economically benefit from our lands if a treaty is implemented.

“As we recognize the Ditidaht and Pacheedaht First Nations for their work to reach today’s milestone, we remain committed to advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and building a better future for everyone in B.C., today and every day.”  “Our government is proud to work with the Ditidaht and Pacheedaht First Nations toward a renewed government-to-government relationship, based on rights, reconciliation and respect,” said Premier John Horgan, who is also the local MLA.

Thank you to the Ditidaht treaty negotiation team (Jack Thompson, Shelley Chester, Robert Joseph, Robert Freedman of JFK Law) for their continued work – it has not been an easy journey. Also, hands up to those members of the Ditidaht Treaty Committee, past and present, as without their efforts we would not be where we are today.

For further information, please contact Ditidaht Chief Negotiator, Jack Thompson at 1-888-745-3366 or Shelley Chester, Ditidaht Treaty Coordinator at 1-800-997-3799.  More information on the BC treaty process can be found at:


Ditidaht Treaty Notice & Upcoming AIP Signing

DFN AIP Signing Notice.June 17 2019.Final

Ditidaht Treaty Notice – Upcoming AIP Signing


The Ditidaht Chief and Council and Treaty team is excited to announce the end of Stage 4 negotiations with the official signing of the Ditidaht / Pacheedaht Agreement-in-Principle (AIP) with BC and Canada. The signing ceremony will take place on June 28, 2019 at the Empress Hotel in Victoria.

We would like to take this opportunity to explain what this means, how we got here, and where we are going next.


What does the Agreement in Principle mean?

This does not mean we have finalized our treaty; but an AIP is an important step in the treaty process. The AIP has no legal effect. Because of this, Ditidaht members will not be voting on this version of the treaty. However, every eligible Ditidaht member will have a chance to review the final version of the treaty and vote on whether to accept it or not. The treaty explains who is eligible to vote.  A number of community meetings were held in to go over the land and cash component of the AIP as well.

A respectful and satisfactory treaty can provide great benefits for Ditidaht. If approved, the Indian Act would largely not apply to Ditidaht. The treaty will provide us with more land and cash and it will recognize our right to self-governance by giving Ditidaht greater control over our land, laws and our democratic processes. It also provides economic benefits, and clarifies our rights and our relationship with Canada and BC, especially off treaty settlement land (TSL), through the negotiation of co-management agreements.

The AIP will set the stage for the negotiation of our final treaty. It includes sections on our treaty settlement lands, which are lands that Ditidaht will own and govern, governance, harvesting, culture, environmental protection, federal parks, taxation, funding, forestry relationships with the three levels of Canadian government (federal, provincial, and local government) and other issues. We will also negotiate implementation and related funding. It does not include details on our fishing rights, water, or provincial parks, all of which will be negotiated in the Final Agreement stage. In addition, we have negotiated framework agreements that will give Ditidaht a much greater say over decisions made that occur on lands off TSL but within our Traditional Territory.

We are also negotiating with Canada and BC to take a different approach to how the final treaty will affect our existing rights, including various ways to amend the final treaty. For example, the Parties are exploring an approach that would better strike a balance between a common and clear understanding of our rights while still allowing for changes to the treaty if a court decides the scope of our rights is different, or if there are aspects of other treaties in the future that Ditidaht could benefit from.


Negotiation Background

The Ditidaht treaty team began negotiations with Canada and BC in 1994.  It has taken us a long time to get to an AIP, but we believe we are on the path to a meaningful and strong treaty. Since 1995, we have made significant progress and have seen Canada and BC put more on the table in terms of lands, money, and meaningful self-governance and harvesting rights that are so important to Ditidaht.

As you know, we have been holding community meetings with members of the Nation.  The community gave us the approval to move into final agreement negotiations through a series of meetings held in 2017 and 2018 in Malachan, Nanaimo, Port Alberni and Vancouver.


What will happen next?

After the AIP is signed, the Ditidaht treaty team will resume focused negotiations with Canada and BC on the remaining issues and work to quickly finalize our Treaty.

We have left matters like the development of our constitution, and negotiation of fishing rights, water rights and our rights within provincial parks to the Final Agreement stage of negotiations.  We have done this because we want to have much more engagement with members of the Nation, given the critical importance of these issues.

We will continue to provide regular updates through bulletins and community meetings and we will engage the community to gather your views and inputs much more often, as we move through the final agreement negotiation stage. In addition, once the AIP is signed, as set out in the Incremental Treaty Agreement we signed in 2013, BC will transfer another parcel of land to Ditidaht, identified as Block A in the attached map.

Thank you to every Ditidaht member for your continued

engagement on this important topic.




Ditidaht First Nation MEMBERS need to update contact information ASAP. 
Please contact Karen Mack at
1-888-745-3366 or
Shelley Chester at
1-800-997-3799 or
or both via FB if that’s the only method you can do.
Please share this with any and all family members you have, that may not see this message.

Ditidaht First Nation Community Engagement Sessions from Winter / Spring 2019

Attached is a report prepared by Paula Beltgens and team from the Community Engagement Sessions that took place this past Winter / Spring 2019 in Nitnaht, Port Alberni and Nanaimo. We thank all our members for coming out providing feedback and learning with us.

CES Update 2017-05-29


2019 Candidates List for Chief and Council

Please see attached the FINAL list of Candidates for the election.

Please note Voting Day is July 6th, 2019 from 8am til 8pm at the Ditidaht Community Hall.

If you are unable to vote in person, please contact Graeme Drew, Electoral Officer for other arrangements.

Ditidaht List of Candidates_Final2

If you are unsure if you are eligible to vote, please contact Karen Mack at 250-745-3333

Ditidaht Fisheries Meeting – May 30, 2019

May 27, 2019


Ditidaht Fisheries Meeting- May 30th/19. Starting at 10:00am to @3:00pm.

At the Malachan Community Hall. Lunch will be served.


To All; Ditidaht Fishermen and community members.


Ditidaht First Nation 2019 Food and Ceremonial Fishing Plans for salmon, groundfish, shellfish and herring.

2018-E.S.S.R. Catch results.

2019- Nitinat River chinook/chum forecast returns.

Hobition River Sockeye Closure and Cheewhat River Sockeye Closure.

Cheewhat Watershed Restoration Project Update.

DFN Fisheries crew monitoring fall monitoring, spawning counts on Hobition, Caycuse and Doobah River’s.


Everyone is welcome to attend this meeting.


Paul M. Sieber

DFN Natural Resource Manager


DFN Fisheries Meeting May 30-19 Meeting Notice

Community Engagement Session Announcements

Community Engagement Session Announcement

The Ditidaht First Nation will be holding 3 community engagement sessions (Malachan, Port Alberni and Nanaimo). We encourage all members to attend these sessions to provide input into the development.

Dinner will be provided.

New password protected area for Ditidaht Members

Just like on our old website (, our new website ( has a password protected area that contains treaty updates and other important information. By now you should have received an email that explains the simple steps to follow to create your password. If you didn’t get an email, go to and ask for one. Problems? Fill out the form at Note: Don’t worry if you keep thinking the website address is It is linked with

New Nitinaht Region website: everything in one place

Our new website has three parts: tourism, economic development and member information. This site is the ‘go to’ place for information about what’s happening in our region and in our Nation. Have an item for the community calendar? Want to add something to the newsfeed? Need to send a bulletin to all members? Just email and we’ll make it happen.

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