Treaty FAQ

Have questions about how and why Metlakatla is negotiating a treaty? See the questions below for  answers to some common questions. 

What is the reason for treaty?

We are negotiating a treaty to protect our lands and resources, to build capacity, to create economic development opportunities, and to achieve self-government. All of this will leave a legacy for our children and help build a brighter future for all members.

Under the treaty, how will Metlakatla be governed?

This will be clearly set out in the Metlakatla Constitution. Metlakatla will be governed under our own laws and under a structure that we create. The Indian Act system of government will no longer apply.

When did Metlakatla enter into treaty negotiations?

Metlakatla began treaty negotiations under the Tsimshian Tribal Council (TTC) in 1990, which consisted of Metlakatla, Kitasoo, Lax Kw’alaams, Kitselas, Kitsumkalum, Gitga’at, and Gitxaala—acting with a mandate from their respective Nations’ memberships. Over time, it became clear that there was no simple solution for such varied communities negotiating at the treaty table together, and the council disbanded in 2004.  Those communities that wanted to continue with treaty negotiations formed a new society, operating as the Tsimshian First Nations Treaty Society. Metlakatla has its own negotiation table under this Society, and is currently in the process of negotiating our own treaty with the Federal and Provincial governments.

Who conducts Negotiations?

Metlakatla received direction from its membership to enter treaty negotations.  Over the years, membership has voiced its continued support to being involved in the process.  Various Metlakatla departments have held surveys, interviews and meetings with which treaty staff have used to build the foundation of the Agreement in Principle.  The treaty staff receives technical support  from various Metlakatla departments.  Metlakatla’s Chief Treaty Negotiator and other Treaty staff participate in treaty negotiations with the Federal and Provincial government.

What stage of negotiations is Metlakatla in?

Metlakatla currently is in Stage 4 in treaty negotiations which is negotiating an Agreement in Principle (AIP).  Click here to see all six stages in the BC Treaty Commission process.  For additional information on the stages, click here to be brought to the BC Treaty Commission website.
The first "here" should be a link to the Treaty Process page.  Please link the second "here" to:

What is the purpose of the Agreement in Principle (AIP)?

The purpose of the AIP is for all Parties to work together to agree upon the principles that are the basis for forming the final agreement.  Treaty staff will share the AIP with community members.  This is the opportunity for members to provide input and feedback.  It is at this stage that members will be asked to vote if they want negotiations to continue.  

What will be included in a final agreement?

A final agreement will empower Metlakatla to govern all of its own affairs.

How does Metlakatla interact with its neighbours?

Metlakatla is interested in working with all of our neighbours - whether they are negotiating treaties or not.  Metlakatla would like to meet with our neighbours to determine how to work together on common land that is shared (the border between both communities).  Metlakatla has reached an agreement with Kitselas on proposed Treaty Settlement Land.   It is hoped that this agreement is the beginning of how the two communities will continue to work together. 


 Don’t see your question here?  Please contact the Treaty Office staff at (250) 628 3315 or email Assistant Treaty Negotiator Joycelynn Mitchell at or Treaty Coordinator Barb Petzelt at for more information.