Past Questions and Answers

There have been a series of questions asked by K'ómoks First Nation (KFN) members on the treaty Facebook sites, during community meetings and youth council meetings. The treaty team is committed to answering all questions and making those questions and answers available to all KFN members.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do we lose our Aboriginal Rights if we get a Treaty?

No. We do not give up or lose our Aboriginal Rights. In the treaty, Aboriginal Rights will be modified and continued, they will not be extinguished. Treaty is meant to identify and protect Aboriginal Rights and ensure they can be exercised by all K’ómoks members.

We have worked very hard to ensure that K’ómoks Aboriginal Rights are not extinguished. In the General Provisions chapter there is language that says, “For greater certainty, any Aboriginal Rights, including Aboriginal Title, that K’ómoks First Nation may have will not be extinguished, but will be modified and continue as modified as set out in the Final Agreement.”

We will also continue to be eligible for all programs and services available to Aboriginal people and we will continue to be Status Indians.

What is the difference between an Agreement in Principle (AIP) and a Final Agreement (Treaty)?

An Agreement in Principle is not a legally binding document. It is a political agreement between the Parties (K’ómoks, BC and Canada) around the key features of a Final Agreement. It is not complete, and leaves a number of things for Final Agreement negotiations. For example, our Agreement in Principle does not include a Fish Chapter, Revenue Sharing, the Fiscal Finance Agreement, and the land negotiations are not complete. There is an opportunity to improve on what has been offered, during the Final Agreement negotiations.  Approval of the Agreement in Principle allows the Parties to move to Final Agreement negotiations and sends a message that the Parties are serious about concluding a Final Agreement.

Once ratified by all the Parties, a Final Agreement is a legally binding document and settles all matters in the negotiations. K’ómoks members will be given an opportunity to vote on the Final Agreement.

Can Bill C-3 Indians vote for the AIP or the Final Agreement?

We do not know how many Bill C-3 Indians there will be. We do not know who has applied or who has not applied. Canada has indicated that the registration process will take 4-6 months for each application, but we are not sure if this is accurate, particularly if the application is not complete. We do not know how long incomplete applications will take. We do not know how long the appeal process will take for those who are rejected. It could take several years before this is all sorted out. We also know that Canada will take as long as it can to register the Bill C-3 Indians because it means additional costs to them. Putting off the AIP vote until all K’ómoks Bill C-3 Indians are registered means to put off the vote indefinitely leaving it in the hands of Indian Affairs.

All persons of K’ómoks ancestry, including those who are currently registered, those who will be registered under Bill C-3, and persons of K’ómoks ancestry whose applications to register may have been rejected Indian Affairs will be able to vote on the Final Agreement.

Are we rushing ahead too quickly with the treaty negotiations?

There is no rush to sign a treaty. The treaty team is committed to taking the necessary time to properly represent K’ómoks in treaty negotiations with B.C. and Canada, and to ensure members are fully informed.

K’ómoks has been in the treaty process since 1993. That was almost18 years ago. If community members agree with the Agreement in Principle (AIP), we would then proceed to Final Agreement negotiations, and this will take several more years. Even after a Final Agreement is complete, it will take additional time for settlement legislation to come into effect.

Is there a need to move quickly to protect our lands and resources?

Every day, Crown land is sold to private owners, every day newcomers are taking advantage of our resources, and every day that leaves  K’ómoks with fewer lands and resources. Because of this, achieving a fair settlement will be more difficult as time goes on.

There is an urgency around protecting our lands and resources.

What happens if the AIP is approved?

The lands that will be a part of the incremental agreement (lands at the base of Mount Washington and Lot DL 7 in Union Bay) will be transferred to the K’ómoks. K’ómoks will have access to an additional $4 million in cash to purchase private lands. In the meantime, the rest of the lands that have been identified in the AIP will be protected for K’ómoks. Also, the water rights we have negotiated will be protected. Most importantly, we can move Forward to Final Agreement negotiations and build on what has been negotiated.

What happens if the AIP is not approved?

K’ómoks may be requested to repay the outstanding negotiating loan and Canada and B.C. may withdraw the land and cash offer. It is also possible that all Parties may agree to continue negotiations, but is more likely that K’ómoks will lose the opportunity to move forward in negotiations.

Under the treaty, will I lose my healthcare? Dental care? Childcare?

No. All current medical, dental and related services and programs will continue

Once the treaty comes into effect, will there be a cash payout to all K’ómoks members?

This is a possibility but will have to be decided by Chief and Council, in consultation with K’ómoks members. There will be a “treaty benefits package,” which is now being developed in consultation with K’ómoks members.

Will we gain anymore health benefits?

The health benefits members receive from British Columbia and Canada will continue. In addition, consideration is being given to a top-up of uninsured health benefits as a part of the treaty benefits package.  Any additional funding provided by K’ómoks for uninsured health benefits will apply to both status and non-status Indians.

Under the treaty, will social assistance be changed?

No. All current social assistance programs will continue.

Do we have the capacity to run self-government?

This raises the important question of training and capacity building. K’ómoks First Nation has the potential to become self-governing. K’ómoks members have the potential to take this on with the proper training, education, mentorship and experience. A capacity plan is being developed for this, with input from K’ómoks members, and will be in place prior to the Effective Date (the date that the treaty comes into force).

In addition, there will be an Implementation Plan that will outline the steps that K’ómoks, Canada and B.C. will have to take to implement the treaty in an orderly manner. We do not have to take on all the responsibilities of treaty and self-government on the Effective Date. We can take on responsibilities as our capacity develops.

K’ómoks self-government will be developed by K’ómoks and will be different from the Canadian and British Columbian government structures. We will govern ourselves on our lands taking into account the traditional teachings of our ancestors.

Is Goose Spit a “deal breaker”? What does our AIP say about the spit?

Yes. No spit, no deal.

How many years have we been negotiating our treaty? How much has it cost so far? Do we have to pay it back?

K’ómoks has been in the treaty process for about 18 years and we have been negotiating treaty on our own since early 2007. Twenty per cent of the negotiating funds have been in the form of a contribution from the B.C. Treaty Commission, which does not have to be repaid. The other 80 per cent is a repayable loan. Repayment is usually in the form of a deduction from the Capital Transfer payments from Canada to K’ómoks after a Final Agreement is ratified by K’ómoks.

Loan advances from the B.C. Treaty Commission totalled $3,524,805.00 to March 31, 2011. Of this we assumed $2,130,419 upon leaving the Hamatla Treaty Table.

What is the current K’ómoks population? What percentage lives “on-reserve”?

The current K’ómoks population is 277 people with 116 living “on-reserve.” 233 are of voting age.

What happens to K’ómoks members who are not registered under the Indian Act?

All persons of K’ómoks ancestry are entitled to be enrolled under the treaty. K’ómoks members who are not registered may be able to become a K’ómoks member with a treaty. Membership is described in the Enrolment and Eligibility chapter. For this, they will need to meet one of the five eligibility criteria in Clause 2 of the Eligibility and Enrolment chapter of the AIP.

Since the Kensington project has the potential to dramatically change the land and seascape on and near K’ómoks territory, how do K’ómoks members benefit? Is this project “under the treaty”?

We have negotiated an impact benefit agreement with the owners of the Kensington project. The agreement includes some cash, several parcels of land, access across Kensington lands to the beaches where we have aquaculture tenures, ownership of office space within the development, marine space, and a guarantee of jobs, training and contracts if we meet certain conditions.

A number of members have been working helping to clear brush in the development. We are setting up two companies to do some of the contracting work. The first company is for road building and clearing, and the second is for home construction. Our companies will have to compete for contracts, but if we have competitive bids, we will get the contact work. Our members will be employed working for these companies.

In addition to employment in the construction industry, the Kensington development will employ people as greens-keepers for the golf course.

We have selected Treaty Settlement Lands adjacent to the Kensington development, and also own private lands in the vicinity. The Kensington development will provide water and sewer infrastructure to the border of our lands. It will also increase the value of our own lands in a significant way.

Current band monies being spent on treaty: does the band get paid back for those funds? What money pot does that come out of?

Right now band monies aren’t being spent on treaty. The treaty budget is separate from the band budget. The treaty team does pay an administrative amount to the band for the use of space, paper, photocopy and other administrative services.

The treaty team is funded by grants and loans received from Canada and British Columbia.  The loan will have to be repaid from the Capital Transfer received under the treaty.

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General Provisions

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

The purpose of the AIP is to allow all of the Parties to have a good idea of what a Final Agreement will look like. The community can have a say if they like the way it looks and if they want to continue negotiations. An AIP also allows Canada and British Columbia to transfer to K’ómoks some early benefits such as lands. They can do this because the conclusion of an AIP gives all the Parties enough confidence to move forward to the final stages of negotiations.

Does the Final Agreement affect K’ómoks people off-reserve? How?

Yes. All K’ómoks band members and persons of K’ómoks ancestry, whether residing on- or off-reserve who are enrolled in the K’ómoks Treaty, will be affected. All enrolled K’ómoks people will have rights and benefits set out in the treaty. All programs from Indian Affairs will continue for Status Indians.

In addition, all enrolled K’ómoks people, both Status and non-Status, will be able to benefit from a treaty benefit package that could include some of the following :land , the distribution of an annual dividend (K’ómoks earnings), contributions to a capacity building and training fund, a top up of uninsured health benefits and assistance for elders.

The costs of this potential benefits package will have to be reviewed carefully before any final decisions are made.

Under the treaty, will status Indians still have access to post-secondary education programs?

Yes. All current education programs will continue.

What are the advantages to being under the Indian Act?

We know the Indian Act, and we are used to it. The biggest advantage is the income tax exemption for individuals living on reserve and earning money on reserve.

The tax exemption is available because the Indian Act gives a tax exemption for Indians who work or purchase goods on reserve. As the reserves will no longer exist, and the Indian Act, for the most part will not apply, the tax exemption will be removed. The K’ómoks government will become the taxing authority and those tax revenues will go to the K’ómoks for the benefit of our members.

How after the Effective Date will we ensure equal treatment of members on and off reserve for Education?

For the purposes of programme and service delivery, under treaty, on and off reserve members will be treated much the same as they are treated today.  Off-reserve education programs will be funded by the province, while education programs for members on Treaty Settlement Land will be funded by Canada through a funding agreement with the K’ómoks government. There will be no change in service to members.

However, there will be a treaty benefits package that will include benefits for members living on Treaty Settlement Lands and off Treaty Settlement Lands. There will also be more opportunities and benefits created through economic development.

How will INAC deal with on and off reserve members regarding education, social assistance etc?

Under treaty on and off reserve members will be treated much the same as they are treated today. As a rule, Canada pays for Status Indians living on reserve, while the province pays for everyone else. Remember, Social Assistance and education are universal social programs which all Canadians are entitled to.  

Under treaty, will we still receive housing grants from INAC/CMHC in the amount of $24,200?

Yes. The treaty will have no impact on the housing grants. The housing grants from INAC/CMHC will continue as long as Canada agrees to fund the programme.

I have noticed the AIP uses both Indian and Aboriginal to describe First Nations people. Why?

As a general rule, the AIP uses the term “Indian” when it is specifically referring to Indians as the term is used under the Indian Act. The AIP uses the term “Aboriginal” when it is referring to Aboriginal rights and title or the holders of Aboriginal rights and title.

Who does the Treaty apply to?

Treaty applies to all persons enrolled under the K’ómoks treaty.  Some aspects of Treaty will directly affect everyone living on Treaty Settlement Lands (TSL). For example, K’ómoks laws will apply to everyone living on TSL.  Hunting, fishing and gathering rights will apply to all Treaty members throughout K’ómoks Traditional Territory.

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.

Canada and British Columbia are seeking certainty over the lands and resources.

Why did we separate from Hamatla?

We left Hamatla to bring the negotiations home toK’ómoks. We had been in negotiations as part of Hamatla since the 1990’s and had built up a significant negotiation debt ($2,130,419).  Chief and Council were concerned that there was no Agreement-in-Principle forthcoming and the lands and resources which we were negotiating over were being privatized and disappearing while others were benefiting from them. Control over what was being negotiated and when was an objective of bringing the negotiations home to Kómoks.

How will current Status members who choose not to enrol in Treaty receive their health/education/housing/welfare benefits, etc under Treaty?

For those residing on Treaty Settlement Lands, these programs and services will be provided by the K’ómoks government with INAC providing funding for them as always. INAC will be the service provider of Indian Affairs programmes for those residing off TSL. The Province will continue to provide services also, for those living off TSL.

I’ve noticed in the Culture and Heritage Chapter that under Treaty BC and Canada will return to K’ómoks significant cultural artefacts. Who decides what are significant cultural artefacts? And are their any conditions attached to the return (i.e.: proper storage facilities)?

There is no reference to “significant cultural artefacts” in the Agreement in Principle.  The Agreement in Principle only refers to K’ómoks artefacts. All K’ómoks artefacts in the possession of either Canada or British Columbia will be the subject for return to K’ómoks. We have not worked out any conditions at this point, but presumably we would have to have a suitable place to store the artefacts if we negotiate their return. The Parties would also have to be able to identify the artefacts as K’ómoks artefacts.

St. Joseph’s hospital is owned by the Diocese of Victoria. It is an independent hospital. How will we have a say in the management/service delivery over St. Josephs and will this affect our seat on the Comox-Strathcona Health Board?

The Comox-Stratchcona Health Board only has jurisdiction over capital expenditures at St. Joseph’s Hospital, and does not have authority over operations. Instead, there is a separate health board at St. Joseph’s Hospital that oversees operations. We do not has a seat on the St. Joseph’s Health Board.

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Under the treaty, how will K’ómoks be governed?

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

What is the status of our Constitution? When is it ready for review? When do we get to vote on it? When will it go into effect?

There is a draft Constitution that was prepared by a small working group. The draft is currently sitting as “work in progress.” It will require a technical review and then a review by the treaty team, and Chief and Council.

After the internal review it will be sent out as a consultation draft to all K’ómoks members. This will not happen until after the AIP is approved. Between the AIP and Final Agreement, the consultation draft will be reviewed by members and suggested changes will be incorporated. When it is finalized, there will be a vote.

We anticipate that a vote on the Constitution will take place around the same time as the Final Agreement vote. The Constitution will come into effect at the same time that the treaty comes into effect.

Under the treaty, can K’ómoks government decisions be appealed or reviewed?

Yes. There will be an impartial and independent process for K’ómoks citizens and other individuals who live within K’ómoks lands to appeal or ask for a review of K’ómoks decisions. Currently, under the Indian Act, there is no formal process to review or challenge decisions made by the K’ómoks Chief and Council, other than in the courts.

What connection will exist between the K’ómoks government and residents of K’ómoks lands who are not K’ómoks citizens?

Before the Final Agreement, K’ómoks will negotiate procedures on how the K’ómoks government will consult with these individuals about any decision that directly and significantly affects them.

K’ómoks laws will apply to all members and non-members attending K’ómoks institutions on K’ómoks lands. Non-member residents will be subject to K’ómoks tax laws. Non-members will be provided an opportunity to participate in certain governmental decisions. This needs to be addressed in the K’ómoks Constitution.

Who will be the first members of K’ómoks government?

Until the first elections for the K’ómoks government are completed, the Chief councillor and councillors at that time will be the K’ómoks government. There is a need to have a transition government in place until the first elections are held. Elections must be called no later than six months and held within the first year after the Effective Date of the treaty.

Does the band office run the treaty government?

The treaty government will be developed based on the Constitution that K’ómoks members build. After treaty, the band will no longer exist. There will be a transition period during which the Chief and Council will form the government.  After the transition period, the new government will be installed based on the Constitution.

What is the connection between K’ómoks laws and federal and provincial laws?

For the most part, K’ómoks laws will regulate K’ómoks issues and will not conflict with any federal or provincial laws.

Some laws may be “inconsistent” or in “conflict.” This means that if a person obeys one law, he or she will violate the other law. For each subject matter, the treaty will specify which law will outweigh the other.

The AIP sets out which laws prevail in each circumstance.

When time comes to take on governance responsibilities, who are we going to hire? Who among our people are training to take on the responsibility?

This is the whole purpose of the Capacity Building Plan and the Capacity Building and Training Fund: to build capacity amongst our members and be able to take on more responsibilities. K’ómoks already has a good deal of capacity in its administration. However, like any other government, we hire outside expertise when necessary.

Can you explain a bit more about this Capacity Fund? Are developers contributing funds to the capacity fund prior to having agreements with us?

There have been several contributions to the capacity fund so far. We have an Impact Benefit Agreement with Kensington and they have agreed to provide $50,000 to that fund.  The money is not yet due so we have not received it. Trilogy will make a one-time payment of $50K to the capacity fund at the time Trilogy makes the Cumberland payment. In addition, 3L development has agreed to a $50 K contribution once the development of the Browns River lands begins.

We are also seeking contributions to the Capacity Fund from other partners. Developers are not required to pay into the Capacity Fund.  However, large developers who wish to have a good relationship with K’ómoks have signed Memorandums of Understanding and Impact Benefit Agreements.  We need to ensure that the fund is established as a separate fund. We will also have to set up terms of reference for the fund and ensure there is an oversight body to ensure the funds are distributed fairly and in keeping with the terms of reference.

Why will non-native residents on TSL have a voice in the decisions the K’ómoks government makes? How are we going to deal with that?

Non-native residents on TSL may receive some programs and services from the K’ómoks government and will be subject to K’ómoks Laws.  It is a democratic principle that those people should have some say in the programs and services that directly affect them.  It has not yet been determined how that representation may be incorporated into the decision-making of the K’ómoks Government.  It may simply be by having a say in consultation regarding these programs and services, or may be through a more direct involvement.  This is something that can be set out in the K’ómoks Constitution.

K’ómoks will have law-making authority under Treaty. Will we have the right to legalize marijuana? How about medical marijuana?

K’ómoks  does not have law making over Criminal Code matters and will not have the right to legalize marijuana unless Canadian and B.C. laws change in regards to this matter.  Currently medical marijuana is legalized for licenced users.  This will also be legal on K’ómoks TSL. In areas of Health and Safety, the laws of B.C. and Canada prevail.

This is one of those areas.

Amendment of Treaty by 2/3 of Elected Leadership is scary—how can we protect ourselves from this being done without community input?

The treaty can be amended by 2/3 of the elected representatives.  However, if K’ómoks wishes it could require a referendum on any amendment. This will have to be built into the Constitution. The 2/3 requirement is a minimal requirement, there is nothing preventing us making a tougher standard.

Will certain families monopolize the Treaty government?

After treaty, government representatives will be elected in accordance with a new K’ómoks Constitution.  The K’ómoks Constitution will have to include checks and balances to ensure that the representation is fair and broad based. K’ómoks members will have an opportunity to develop the type of government they want.

It will also be important to separate administrative issues from political issues. The Constitution can provide rules to ensure that this separation of politics and administration is respected.

Will there be an Annual Report or auditing for the new K’ómoks government?

Because the K’ómoks government is and will continue to be funded with public funds, there will continue to be annual financial reporting requirements. Currently the annual financial statements are made available to members at the annual band meetings. A requirement for an Annual Report and a review of the annual Financial Statements at the Annual General Assembly could be placed in the Constitution

Will K’ómoks have its own child services?

K’ómoks will have the authority to set up its own child protection services, but it may not want to do that because it is expensive and a big responsibility. K’ómoks will likely remain with the existing child protection services until it has developed sufficient capacity.

How does the Constitution become law? A meeting in the hall or do we have to go to a court of law?

Your Constitution will become law once it is approved in a ratification vote. This will happen around the same time that the Final Agreement is ratified. There will be a good deal of consultation with K’ómoks members before this happens.

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Why do we want these lands?

Our people have said in the treaty process that our lands are the most important element of the treaty. Lands are valuable, and we can pass them on to our children. There is limited Crown land left in the southern portion of the K’ómoks territory. The lands being negotiated are the most valuable Crown lands remaining within the K’ómoks First Nation territory. These lands can provide long-term economic development opportunities for generations to come.

Why is there not much Crown land left in much of our traditional territory?

The Crown gave much of our land to the Esquimalt and Nanaimo (E&N) railway without considering the First Nations in the area. This land was eventually sold by the E&N to forestry and mining companies.

Would B.C. have any responsibility to maintain K’ómoks roads?

No. This will be a K’ómoks responsibility.

Will the public have the right to use K’ómoks roads?

Yes, unless the K’ómoks government designates a road as a private road.

Why are subsurface resources important?

Ownership of valuable subsurface resources such as gravel, coal, minerals and gas could provide valuable economic development opportunities in the future.

Will we own all the subsurface resources for all our lands?

K’ómoks will own all the subsurface resources for the treaty lands where the subsurface resources are currently owned by B.C. Some of the subsurface land resources became privately owned due to the E&N Land Grant and will remain privately owned after the treaty.

What can we do differently when K’ómoks reserve lands become Treaty Settlement Lands (TSL)? What can we do now with our reserve lands?

Currently, we do not own our Indian reserves. These are owned by the federal government. We have the right to live on these reserves, but we cannot do many things on them without the permission of the Minister of Indian Affairs. For example, if we need a new building, we need the Minister’s approval, or if anyone wants to start a business, in theory, the Minister must consent.

Also, we cannot easily get a mortgage on our own from a commercial lender for a house on reserve because we do not actually own the Indian Reserve land where the house is located.

After the treaty, K’ómoks First Nation will own the TSL and be able to allocate ownership of these lands to our people. These people may use their lands to get a mortgage from the bank without needing the help of the Minister of Indian Affairs or the band.

K’ómoks lands will have a commercial value after the treaty. Currently, they have very little commercial value.

All laws for K’ómoks lands will be set by the K’ómoks government, and not the Minister of Indian Affairs. K’ómoks will be able to enact land use planning laws to determine which kind of development can take place on our lanes, levy property taxes, and actually be the land developer.

Are there any lands in Deep Bay?

There are no BC Crown or Federal Lands at or near Deep Bay, which have frontage on the bay. South of Deep Bay there are some Provincial Crown Lands which are in close proximity to the Qualicum First Nation Reserve.  K’ómoks has respectively not selected these parcels as potential TSL.

Is there any contamination on any of these lands?

There is only one contamination issue that has been identified. This is on the Wood Mountain Park parcel and is specifically related to the site where the Lodge which collapsed and then burned during removal. There has not been a detailed assessment of the contamination issues but are believed to be related to the spilled diesel fuel.

Are any of these lands suitable for agriculture?

Yes some of the land parcels have Agricultural Land Reserve status. This does not guarantee that they are 'good' agricultural land but indicates a possible agricultural use. There are also some other areas within parcels, which may have agricultural potential.

Under treaty, will we have clear title? Can we sell our homes to anyone, including Non-aboriginals?

Treaty enables us to have clear title to our lands.  Treaty also enables us to sell lands to third party non-members if we wish. Treaty also enables us to place restrictions on whom we sell lands to. We have not yet determined what sort of restrictions there will be on the sale of lands.  This is something the K’ómoks First Nation will eventually decide in consultation with community members.

Won’t the sale of lands decrease the amount Treaty Settlement Land (TSL) over time?

No, even if we sell lands to a third party, the lands will always remain K’ómoks Treaty Settlement Lands. They will be under the jurisdiction of the K’ómoks government. K’ómoks laws will apply and K’ómoks will collect the taxes.  It makes no difference if lands are sold to K’ómoks member or third parties, they will always remain K’ómoks Treaty Settlement Lands.

If DL7 and the Mt. Washington lot are transferred after AIP, how much will we pay each year in taxes on the property?

Property taxes are based on the assessed value of the land, zoning and tax rates. As the property has not yet been assessed, and zoning still to be determined, we can’t be certain what taxes would apply to the properties. However, there are ways to minimize the property taxes. For example, if we make a rule that says certain lands (existing reserve lands for example) can only be used by our members, then the market value and property taxes payable will be modest.

Do we have any submerged lands in the K’ómoks TSL land based, as proposed in the AIP?

No, we do not have any submerged lands in the land offer. Some parcels have small creeks, seasonal streams and small wetlands, but none have been specifically identified as submerged lands.

What happens if a current band member with a Certificate of Possession chooses not to enroll?

Any existing property rights will be secured. No one will lose their house or property because they do not enroll in a treaty.

How does registering land make the banks more willing to loan us or a K’ómoks homeowner - money?

If lands are registered in the B.C. Land Registry System in what is called the Torrens System, it is recognized as the worlds most reliable and insured land registry system.  The banking system is very familiar with this system and it provides the banks with confidence and so they are willing to loan money based on using the land as 'security' through mortgages.  A K’ómoks Land Registry System, if that path is chosen, would be designed to provide certainty and security to lending institutions and owners/lessees in a similar way.

What happens if under Treaty someone defaults on a loan? What happens to the land?

The answer to this question depends on who is in default and who the money is owed to. Normally if someone defaults on their mortgage a bank can seize the property. If it is a K’ómoks member who defaults on a loan that is secured by K’ómoks, it is possible that K’ómoks will reposes the land. If it is K’ómoks member has given a mortgage to the bank, the bank may be able to reposes the land. The normal rules would apply. However, the lands will remain as K’ómoks Treaty Settlement Lands. K’ómoks laws will apply and K’ómoks will continue to collect the property taxes.

Will the Union Bay lands be sold as fee simple?

The Union Bay DL7 parcel will be transferred to K’ómoks as fee simple lands. Although no decisions have been made as to how they will be developed any development will be consistent with the lands becoming Treaty Settlement Lands on the Effective date of the Treaty when K’ómoks will have both property taxation jurisdiction and zoning control of the land parcel.

What is the difference between protected status lands and proposed lands?

Some of the land parcels have been offered with a proposed ‘protected status’. In most cases this will be part of the negotiations between AIP and Final Agreement.  In the case of Union Bay DL7 which will be transferred to K’ómoks immediately after a successful AIP vote in March, the ‘protected area’ is an environmentally sensitive area that both K’ómoks and BC have identified. After the land parcel is transferred to K’ómoks the environmental priority objectives for specific values will be defined by both K’ómoks and BC biologists. K’ómoks’ development plans will incorporate these highly important environmental values into any development plans to enhance the value of the development.

Who determines how the $4 M is spent and do K’ómoks people vote?

K’ómoks members, the treaty team and the Chief and Council will all have a say in the lands to be purchased. At the operational level, the treaty team is responsible for all land selections including those lands that are selected and purchased with the additional 4 million dollars. This will be done in consultation with community members and Chief and Council. The treaty team will engage experts to assist in determining which are the best lands to acquire. Options will be presented for discussion with community members.

In the end, the K’ómoks members will have the final say as they will be asked to ratify the Final Agreement.

For the $4 M dollars, where are these purchases going to be?

There have been no decisions regarding land purchases with the $4M dollars. This money will not be available until after the AIP is approved, and our treaty process requires that the community have input into decisions about where we buy land.

What lands are we able to buy with the AIP $4M? Do they have to be inside our traditional territory or can we buy lands in Vancouver?

The treaty team will decide this in consultation with K’ómoks members and Chief and Council. Lands will have to be managed, and it is easier   for us to manage lands that are in close proximity to the Comox Valley. Also, Canada and BC must consult with First Nations who may have a claim to the same lands. Canada has consulted with the First Nations in our territory and they have all supported our treaty land selections.

Will we be gaining any more lands than what’s been offered?

Yes.  We have put the negotiation of additional lands on the agenda for matters to be addressed between the AIP and the Final Agreement. If we approve the AIP we will have an opportunity to negotiate a more complete package.

What happens if a developer goes bankrupt part-way through a development? Who is responsible?

If a developer goes bankrupt, the process of bankruptcy is governed by legislation. It is very complicated and could involve many different scenarios.

For example, if the developer has purchased the lands from K’ómoks, and is unable to pay K’ómoks, then we will have a mortgage against the lands for the value owed. Our mortgage would be registered against the lands in the land title office and we would have a priority against all other debt holders. Any subsequent purchaser would have to first pay off  what is owed to K’ómoks. In the alternative, K’ómoks could seize the lands just as a bank can seize lands for failure to pay a mortgage.

Another scenario could be that we continue to own the lands, and the developer and K’ómoks would both get paid as individual units are completed and sold to individual purchasers. As each unit is sold, the ownership of the housing unit and land would be transferred to the individual. If the developer goes bankrupt before the development is finished, then another developer would have to be found to complete the project.

It is also possible that the developer would be a company owned by the K’ómoks First Nation.

In all these scenarios, the lands would all continue to be Treaty Settlement Land under the jurisdiction of the K’ómoks government. 

When developing our land, will we have the majority of the shares so we have a voice in how the land is developed?

We will be the land owner, the governing body which determines how the land is used, and a partner in the development. We will have the final say in any development.

I’ve read if the developers don’t get paid they can take the land in compensation, like the banks can take a house if you fail to pay your mortgage. Is this true?

There is risk in any development venture. If a development is not structured properly it is possible for the developer to seize lands. However, the lands will always remain K’ómoks Treaty Settlement Lands.  As the land owners, K’ómoks could structure the development so that the developer only gets paid as each parcel or each home is sold.

In all of our developments, we will be the initial land owners and in control of the zoning. That gives us an advantage over most developers. We will still need to be careful and make sure that we develop in a way that incurs the least risk. There are ways of structuring an enterprise to avoid risk, and that is what we will have to do. There are also developers who are prepared to take on all the financial risk, but for a higher percentage of the profit.

K’ómoks will do things slowly and avoid taking risks.

Could we be sued by home owners/leasees on living on our developments for failure to provide services, or any other circumstances?

If we agree to provide services and then refuse to provide them, we can be sued.  Services are provided from the tax base. If residents are demanding better or more services, then the property tax rates will increase so that we can afford the services.

Why are we inviting non-natives to develop our land? How is that a benefit to us?

Economic development will create jobs and provide dollars for the K’ómoks to deliver services and provide benefits to members.  Revenues will come from the profits from the development and the taxes K’ómoks will collect.

Developments require land, financing and expertise. While the K’ómoks will have the land, we need the additional financing and expertise to do large developments.  The K’ómoks needs partners, whether native or non-native to bring financing and expertise to make the developments a reality. Other First Nations such as Osoyoos and West Bank have been able to develop their lands and get ahead because they have brought in outside partners to assist them.

Will we be responsible for policing, fire, emergency preparedness, recycling, snow removal, etc on any of the properties we develop? If so, what is that going to cost?

While the costs of these services are yet to be estimated, these will be services which will be provided by the K’ómoks government, either directly or through contracts with other service providers (such as adjacent municipalities currently do for our Indian Reserve lands--water, garbage, fire protection etc.).  The cost of this will be charged to the residents/leasees of the properties we develop through the taxes they will be required to pay under K’ómoks law.

Has the gravel pit (Mt. Washington) been used and is the gravel gone, or is it possible to start a gravel business?

Although this Parcel has been identified as Mt Washington Gravel Pit, only a small area had a gravel resource on it which was used in the early stages of the Inland Highway construction. The former gravel pit area has been remediated.

What happened to the proposed jobs (2 road construction, 1 clearing the land) by 3L Development to work on the land on the way to Mt. Washington?

Any work on the Mt Washington lands will have to wait until we actually receive the lands and until we have a development plan in place. We will not get the Mt Washington lands until after the AIP is approved.

Can you provide 2 examples of proposed fee simple lands, what we might do with them and what the benefit is to the K’ómoks people?

Examples of fee simple lands which could be developed to the benefit of K’ómoks people are Union Bay DL7 and the Mt. Washington Base (Gravel Pit). Union Bay DL7 could be developed as a complementary residential development to the Kensington development. The Mt. Washington Base parcel has many development opportunities including commercial, recreation related retail, accommodation (both hotel/motel and residential) along with compatible industrial (storage units, etc).

Both of these parcels will be transferred to K’ómoks after a successful AIP vote on March 26, 2011.  In addition to the development benefits from these parcels, these parcels will become Treaty Settlement Lands (TSL) under treaty. K’ómoks will have jurisdiction over all TSL, and that includes the powers of taxation.

How is treaty going to generate funding to existing K’ómoks members?

Our treaty will have several sources of revenues. There will be the income from the Capital Transfer, tax revenues (property tax, income tax and sales tax from members and non-members), income from development opportunities and there may be income from Revenue Sharing which will be negotiated between the AIP and the Final Agreement. These revenues will flow to the K’ómoks First Nation.

We are proposing an individual treaty benefits package that includes a number of options. These options include a distribution to members from the profits of our operations, as well as a per capita distribution from the Capital Transfer. Other options include a Capacity Building Fund, a distribution of land and a top-up for uninsured health benefits. We need to look closely at each of these options and between the AIP and Final Agreement before we will finalize the benefits package.

Will trained and eligible band members have priority over all jobs and all contracted jobs in the development of our lands?

Yes, the priority will be to provide qualified K’ómoks members with jobs and contracts opportunities. In fact, in the Impact Benefit Agreements we have with Kensington, Trilogy and others, this has been built into the agreements. The same principle will apply to all K’ómoks owned operations, but the members must be qualified.

Where are we going to prioritize economic development ie: gravel pit at base of Mt. Washington and can we get free gravel?

In addition to the current business operations (Pentlatch Sea Foods, the RV Park and the Art Gallery) our priorities for economic development will include: the Puntledge Reserve, our private lands in Union Bay, lot DL 7 and Mt Washington.  Both the private Union Bay lands and the Puntledge Reserve belong to K’ómoks and are zoned for development.  DL 7 and Mt Washington are also zoned for development and will be ours after the AIP is approved. However, for each of these projects we will need a partner, financing and an agreed upon development plan. Any development will also have to fit into an Economic Development Strategy that needs to be finalized.

Currently, resource extraction is the major industry in the Salmon River area (fishing, timber harvesting and processing, fish/aquaculture harvesting and, processing etc.). Treaty Land Selection in the Salmon River area was directed to take advantage of these resource-based economic opportunities.

Why did we only get the tip of Goose Spit? Why not the whole thing?

The portion of the Goose Spit that is currently used by the Department of National Defence (DND) for cadet training is not surplus federal lands and therefore not available at this time. Once that Agreement in Principle is approved, we will be in a better position to pursue all of the lands on the Goose Spit.

What about the DND land? When will we get that back?

We will continue to negotiate some of the matters around the Goose Spit, once the AIP is approved, including return of the portion being used by the DND for the cadets.

Can we take over the DND lease while we wait for that land to become surplus? 

We are proposing to take over the portion currently required by DND for the cadet training, and lease it back to them. The DND has not agreed to this, but we will continue to pursue this in Final Agreement negotiations.

What about access?

We have negotiated an access corridor, but a road will have to be built by Canada and British Columbia.

What happens with road access to the Goose Spit if AIP is approved?

The Agreement in Principle includes a right of way to the Goose Spit IR, but the actual road construction will not happen until Canada and BC agree between themselves on who will pay for the costs of construction. There is disagreement on this between Canada and BC.

Who is going to build the access road and where?

The costs of the road will be the responsibility of British Columbia and Canada. There is still no agreement between the two of them on how they will share the costs. The access road will be built on a right of way on the south side of the Goose Spit.

What do we plan to do with the Spit? Why do we want this land?

K’ómoks members will have to decide what to do with the Spit. From the outset, the negotiating team has been told by various community members that a resolution of the Goose Spit issues must be achieved in order to have strong community support for a Final Agreement.

What's the value of this land?

The value of the land will depend on what it can be used for. If it is to remain as is, or designated as a burial site, then the commercial value will be less. If it is designated by the community for development, then the value will be higher. We have not done an appraisal of these lands.

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Resource Harvesting Rights


Why are fish negotiations on hold?

All fish negotiations are on hold because the federal government is waiting for the results of the Cohen Commission regarding Fraser River Sockeye. See more on the Cohen Commission at

What rights are being negotiated?

Our position in the negotiations is for a treaty to guarantee our right to fish as we do now, not only for fish in the river but to continue harvesting seafood as we do today. We are also negotiating for a commercial fishing capacity, law-making rights and a role in the management of the fisheries.

In the negotiations, we have proposed a guaranteed percentage of fish so that we can never be cut off from fishing for food when the salmon returns are very low.

I want more information about the aquaculture agreements being negotiated. What can you tell me?

The aquaculture interim measures agreement provides the K’ómoks with:

  • two new aquaculture  tenures and licences,
  • a direct role in the approval of all aquaculture tenures within the K’ómoks traditional territory through the establishment of a joint BC/KFN Aquaculture Review Committee
  • funding to develop more capacity with respect to the aquaculture industry
  • the identification of new areas to be set aside for designation for  K’ómoks aquaculture  tenures

Will the K’ómoks government be able to make laws to manage the K’ómoks First Nation fisheries?

Yes. The K’ómoks government will be able to make and enforce laws over our domestic fishery and our members after treaty. The AIP states what the authorities will be.

Will K’ómoks play a role in management of fisheries?

Our position is that K’ómoks must play a role in the management of fish and sea resources through not only a local Fisheries Management Committee, but also by taking part in any regional management committees established over all or a portion of our traditional territory and domestic fishing area. In addition, K’ómoks is negotiating shared decision-making over the Oyster, Salmon and Puntledge River systems. 

Can we call our fishing territory a name or escort people off our territory?

The Fisheries provisions of our Agreement have not been negotiated yet.  This will be done between AIP and the Final Agreement. It is expected that we can call our fishing territory a name.  Our law making authority will apply over our members only and will not likely apply over non-K’ómoks First Nation people.

Do we have to stay with Atlegay?



Will we be able to continue to hunt wildlife?

Yes. We will be able to hunt as we do now for domestic purposes, subject only to measures necessary for conservation, public health or public safety.

What happens when there is development in the harvest area?

When there is a proposal to develop land that will affect our ability to hunt, B.C. or Canada will consult with K’ómoks to lessen the impact on our hunting before allowing the development to take place. B.C. must ensure that development does not deny the K’ómoks the reasonable opportunity to harvest wildlife. The K’ómoks and B.C. will negotiate on a process to evaluate the impact of development on our opportunity to hunt.

Will we be required to pay for hunting licences?

K’ómoks members will NOT be required to have or pay for any provincial or federal licence when hunting inside the K’ómoks Harvest Area. When hunting within British Columbia outside the K’ómoks Harvest Area, K’ómoks members are either subject to B.C. laws and must hunt according to the B.C Hunting and Trapping Regulations.  With your status card (if you are a status Indian) identifying you as an Indian, you may hunt as you do currently. Hunting on someone else’s territory will require a negotiated agreement with that First Nation and documentation from that First Nation.

Migratory Birds

Do we continue to have the right to harvest migratory birds?

K’ómoks will continue to have the right to harvest migratory birds in the K’ómoks Harvest Area. There will be no requirement for licensing or fees. If there is no allocation, we can harvest as needed for domestic purposes, limited only by measures necessary for conservation, public health or public safety.

Will we be consulted if there is a conservation problem?

If Canada believes that conservation measures are necessary to protect a population of migratory birds, then Canada will consult the K’ómoks and if conservation measures are to be implemented, then Canada will minimize or limit the impacts on the K’ómoks right to harvest migratory birds.

When it comes to migratory birds, how are eagles defined?

Bald Eagles are raptors (birds of prey) and do not fall under the K’ómoks Migratory Bird Chapter.  They are considered 'wildlife' and, as with all raptors, are managed by British Columbia.

If K'ómoks members wish to access parts or all of a Bald Eagle, the Ministry of Natural Resource Operations Conservation Officer Service has several of these birds (dead) which may be accessed by request.


What is meant by the “right to gather”?

The “right to gather” means our right to gather all land plants and fungi (including mushrooms) for our domestic use, but not aquatic plants nor the timber from trees.

Can K’ómoks people gather in provincial parks, such as Strathcona Park?

Yes. We can gather in provincial parks as long as it is within the laws of conservation and public safety. Not allowing K’ómoks people to gather in these areas would be an infringement on our Aboriginal and Treaty Rights that are protected by section 35 of the Canadian Constitution.

Will K’ómoks members be able to gather plants for a moderate livelihood and sell what we gather?

K’ómoks’s position is yes. K’ómoks people can gather plants for a moderate livelihood, and sell what we gather. B.C. is considering our position and agrees that nothing in law prohibits us from selling what we gather, just as all British Columbians are permitted to do on Crown land outside provincial parks.

Will we continue to have the right to gather throughout our territory?

Yes. On private lands it will be subject to permission from the owner. (An example of private property is TimberWest company lands in the Courtenay area.)

What happens to the hunting/fishing/gathering rights of persons who do not enroll in the treaty?

Aboriginal rights including the right to hunt, fish and gather are collective rights, they are not owed by individuals.  The individuals who do not enroll may still hunt and fish and gather in accordance with federal or provincial regulations, but if the want to hunt under a K’omoks right, they will have to enroll n the treaty.

What about overlaps in hunting, gathering and fishing territories with other First Nations? Will we have protocol agreements with them?

We will continue to have hunting, fishing and gathering rights throughout our Traditional Territories regardless of any overlaps which exist.  Protocol agreements with those overlapping First Nations are not necessary for K’ómoks members to be able to excercise their Treaty hunting, fishing and gathering rights.

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Resource Management

Parks and Planning

What kind of role will K’ómoks have in planning on lands within our traditional territory?

Through a Collaborative Management Agreement, K’ómoks will have a say in the Parks and Protected Area Management Planning Process. K’ómoks will benefit from a clear process for putting forward our interests and ensuring that K’ómoks gets a fair share of the benefits, including economic benefits, from these areas.

How will K’ómoks benefit from shared decision-making?

K’ómoks will have a say in issues, areas and resources within the K’ómoks Territory. This will allow us to ensure responsible management and continued benefits from the lands and resources of our K’ómoks Territory for our future generations.

What is the “New Relationship” initiative?

The “New Relationship” is the name for a 2005 agreement between the First Nations Leadership Council and the Province of British Columbia. It is “based on:

  • respect, recognition and accommodation of Aboriginal Title and Rights
  • respect for each other’s respective laws and responsibilities 
  • reconciliation of Aboriginal and Crown Titles and jurisdictions.

The parties agreed to establish new processes and institutions for shared decision-making regarding land and resources and for revenue and benefit sharing.”

What is an example of a public planning process?

An example of a public planning process is the Regional Growth Strategy. This is a Comox Valley-wide planning initiative looking at where urban growth will be focused until 2050. This planning initiative invites the public to open meetings where people can share their concerns.

Land-use planning processes are another example of public planning processes. There was a public land-use planning process on the central coast and northern Vancouver Island in which we participated.

Forest Resources

What is the difference between “forestry” and “logging”?

Forestry includes all the aspects of managing forests, including protection, harvesting, planting, thinning, looking after wildlife, water and soils, etc. Logging only refers to the timber harvesting part of forestry.

What kinds of laws can we make about forestry?

K’ómoks may make laws about all K’ómoks forest resources and forest practices except for B.C. law applying to ‘scaling’ and ‘ timber marking’ of timber moving off of K’ómoks lands. The K’ómoks owns all Forest Resources on K’ómoks lands. Except for the areas of wildfire and forest health, K’ómoks forest law prevails over B.C. law.

What’s a “Wildfire Suppression Agreement”?

A Wildfire Suppression Agreement (WSA) is an agreement between K’ómoks, B.C. and Canada. The WSA makes sure that wildfires originating on K’ómoks land are responded to by B.C. on the same basis as for provincial Crown land. K’ómoks, B.C. and Canada will share these costs on K’ómoks lands.

K’ómoks is not responsible for any costs of fire suppression off K’ómoks lands even if the wildfire originated on K’ómoks lands.

I have heard that exported timber is more valuable. Is our timber exportable?

Yes. Unlike provincial Crown timber, after Final Agreement, the timber on our K’ómoks lands will be exportable (subject to federal law and policy). As with other provincial licencees, the timber from our Crown land tenures such as our woodlots will not be freely exportable.


Do we not have a right to access fresh water right now?

Right now, K’ómoks has a small allocation of water from the Puntledge River to the Puntledge Reserve, but this is not enough to ‘service’ any significant development. K’ómoks is currently working with the City of Courtenay and the Regional District, which decide how much water is available to us. If the AIP is approved, this water will be reserved from use by others and available to us whenever we decide.

Do we have to pay for water now?

No. We do not pay for water. We do, however, pay for the service of delivering the water to us.

Why is water vital to K’ómoks’s future?

Quality fresh water is becoming scarce. It will be scarcer in the future, and we want to secure fresh water for our future. It is very possible that with treaty the K’ómoks will be the largest water-holder, next to B.C. Hydro, in the Comox Valley.

Are we going to require storage facilities for water?

Yes, we will need storage facilities for times of “low-flow,” usually from July to October, for all streams except the Puntledge River. This is costly, but deals or partnerships with other players in the Valley can reduce our costs. Adding to our water supply from groundwater sources also remains an option.

Environmental Assessment and Protection

In the treaty, does K’ómoks participate in federal or provincial Environmental Assessment?

Yes, if the project is within our traditional territory or may reasonably be expected to have an adverse environmental impact on our land or rights, we will be provided with the information needed to properly assess the project impact and an opportunity to participate in any Environmental Assessment of that project.

Will K’ómoks be able to make environmental laws?

Yes, K’ómoks will be able to make laws that apply on K’ómoks lands for:

  • Environmental Assessment for K’ómoks projects
  • Environmental Management to protect, preserve and conserve the environment in areas like pollution, waste management, air and water quality.

Who is responsible for environmental emergencies?

K’ómoks will be responsible for prevention, preparedness for, and responding to environmental emergencies that originate on K’ómoks lands. If K’ómoks is unable to respond to an emergency, then B.C. or Canada may respond. Costs for these activities may be shared with B.C. and/or Canada, just as when Courtenay was flooded last year and B.C. provided “disaster relief.”

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Fiscal Relations

Is there a “per-person” formula for our treaty? How does it compare with say, Tsawwassen or Sliammon? 

Generally speaking, there is a “per person” formula for land and cash. We have done very well and according to a presentation by Bill Stipdonk, on both the land values and the cash payout, we have done better than any other First Nation, at the AIP stage.

What does the financial part of the treaty look like?

This section divides the financial information into three chapters: Fiscal Relations, Taxation and Capital Transfer.

Fiscal Relations

Is the Fiscal Finance Agreement (FFA) separate from treaty? Why?

Yes, the FFA is negotiated separately from the treaty, but the guidelines for the FFA are in the Fiscal Relations chapter of the treaty. The K’ómoks will need a new FFA every five years as our needs change. It is not in the treaty because it will need to change.

What programs and services are included in the FFA?

The FFA funds programs and services for areas like education, social, health, capital, fish and government functions.

How is the FFA different from what we have now?

These are some of the ways that funding will be different:

  • With the FFA, the K’ómoks government will be able to spend the money as we see fit and to keep any savings and apply them to other program areas as long as programs and services are delivered.
  • The amount of funding will be larger as the treaty results in more responsibility for K’ómoks.
  • Funding for services and programs would be five years with a two-year extension if needed. This would provide certainty that programs will continue to be funded.
  • The reporting requirements are much simpler. Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) will no longer review and audit how the K’ómoks spends money.

Is there a place to amend the FFA?

Yes, the FFA has procedures to change programs, terms and conditions and funding amounts.

Will an Own Source Revenue Agreement (OSRA) be part of the treaty?

No, but the terms for how an OSRA are negotiated are set out in the Fiscal Relations chapter. The Fiscal Relations chapter also provides guidelines for future negotiators of OSRA.

Is an OSRA fair?

All governments contribute to the cost of programs and services for their people. First Nation governments receive funds to deliver a set of programs and services. It is reasonable that they share in the costs if they are able to.

What is the difference between the OSRA and Tax?

Taxes are a charge to individuals and corporations. The taxation charge is linked to income or to spending. Tax money is one source of revenue to governments.

Own Source Revenue is the combination of taxes and other money that will be collected by the K’ómoks government. The K’ómoks government will use some of the money to offset the cost to Canada of providing funding for programs and services to our members.

Will the OSRA discourage us from increasing our revenues?

No, governments are supposed to spend their money on providing better programs and services to their members, and the OSRA will NOT require the K’ómoks government to spend all of its money — no matter how much money the K’ómoks government receives.

How is the band funded now?

The band currently receives funding from three federal departments: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and Health Canada. The majority comes from INAC and covers programs like K-12 education, income assistance, post-secondary education, band funding and so on.

INAC funding comes in two ways. The first way is based on the cost of programs and services. The second way is in the form of grants.

Health Canada and Department of Fisheries and Oceans funding flow under different agreements and have their own terms, conditions and reporting requirements.

How will it change with treaty?

There would be several major changes with a treaty. Some of the changes are:

  • funding will flow from a single source (instead of three)
  • length of time for program funding increases for some programs
  • K’ómoks will receive more funds and deliver more services programs
  • K’ómoks will decide which programs need more funding based on our needs rather than INAC formulas.

Capital Transfer

How much is the cash (Capital Transfer) part of the Agreement in Principle?

The cash amount of Capital Transfer is $17.5 million.

If we accept the $17.5 million, can we negotiate something better between the Agreement in Principle and the negotiation of the Final Agreement?

We will be able to negotiate additional dollars in the form of revenue sharing and special funds. For example, we still have on the table a $3-million fund that we have proposed to be used for fisheries purposes. Canada and B.C. have not agreed to this, but we had proposed this before Canada suspended fish negotiations. We will be proposing other special funds for implementation.

What would happen to the band if the funds ran out?

We plan to put the Capital Transfer dollars in a trust fund and only use the interest that is earned from the fund, so it is not likely that we will run out. Even if we did, we would still have the regular funding from Canada for programs and services that we have always received, so individuals who receive programs and services (education, health and social services) will not be affected. The band will also continue to receive funding for government operations and administration.

Will health, education and other programs continue after treaty?

After treaty, Canada will continue to fund all of the programs that are currently being funded. This covers programs such as education, including post-secondary education, health programs, public works and all other ongoing programs. We are not expected to pay for ongoing programs out of the Capital Transfer payments. Non-Status members will get programs and services from British Columbia.


Why will we have to pay taxes under treaty?

With treaty two things will change the taxability of K’ómoks members:

  • There would no longer be a “reserve.” The land becomes Treaty Settlement Land (TSL).
  • The Taxation chapter says that Section 87 (the section about tax exemption) of the Indian Act will not apply to a K’ómoks member.

Therefore once the treaty phase-in period is over, K’ómoks members will be subject to tax regardless of where they live.

For the most part, the taxes paid by members will be collected by or transferred to the K’ómoks government.

Are there any tax exemptions in the treaty?

Yes. For the most part, the K’ómoks government will not be taxable, there will be no taxes on unimproved lands, and there will be no tax on the treaty assets (e.g., no taxes on the Capital Transfer).

Who will benefit from our taxes?

Most of the taxes collected would be transferred back to the K’ómoks government, and they would be used for the benefit of K’ómoks members.

Can we collect property taxes from other groups on our territory?

Yes, K’ómoks will charge all residents of TSL property tax.

What will be taxable?

Taxable items are earned income (employment and investment), sales taxes (HST) and property tax.

What is not taxed?

To name a few, the following types of income are not taxed in Canada:

  • gifts and inheritances
  • lottery winnings
  • winnings from betting or gambling for simple recreation or enjoyment
  • strike pay
  • compensation paid by a province or territory to a victim of a criminal act or a motor vehicle accident
  • certain civil and military service pensions
  • war disability pensions
  • provincial child tax credits or benefits
  • various tax benefits and credits (for example, the Harmonized Sales Tax credit and the Canada Child Tax Benefit).

Will tax benefits you describe come into effect post-AIP or do we have to wait for Effective Date of Final Agreement?

You wait until the tax exemption expires for income and sales tax sharing (12 and 8 years); property tax on non-status Indians can commence today.

How much will my taxes decrease post-treaty?

They will not go down. But much of the tax paid will be returned to KFN by Canada and BC.

Will I pay taxes if I’m on welfare? Less or more than now?

No, welfare is not taxable. You will pay HST but you likely pay that now on most of your purchases.

Will I pay less tax, post-treaty, if I’m working?

No, you will pay the same. (If you are currently able to qualify for the tax exemption.)

How, exactly will I benefit from these tax advantages? Will I pay less? Will I get a cheque?

You will not pay less but rather your government will receive a significant portion of that tax income from Canada and BC. That revenue will go to help KFN deliver enhanced programs and services and to deliver new programming for KFN.

What will our taxes be if members vote “no.”?

The same as they are today.

How did you (to Bill) come up with those modeling numbers (referring to theoretical subdivision and financial benefits to KFN)?

The subdivision revenues were made assuming Courtenay property tax rates and average house assessment value; the tax and sales tax revenues were made assuming Courtenay incomes as per the 2006 census and 2010 tax rates.

Will on-reserve/on-TSL home businesses have to charge HST and remit on the Effective Date or after the phase-in period?

Currently, an on-reserve home-based business must charge HST if the business earns more than $35, 000 per annum and most of the business takes place off reserve. Any on-reserve home-based business not currently charging HST will have to charge HST after the phase-in period (eight years), but only if the business earns more than $35, 000 per year. 

If we subsidize property taxes for low-income members on TSL, how do we ensure equality for members not living on TSL?

The answer to this question depends on whether that low-income member is a renter or a property owner.

For renters: Today, many K’ómoks members on reserve rent housing owned by the Band, while off reserve members rent from individual property owners. Off reserve, property tax is paid by the property owners while on reserve there are no property taxes. When property taxes come into effect 12 years after Treaty, on TSL members will likely still rent from the K’ómoks government, who will still be the property owners. The K’ómoks government, however, is tax exempt, so property tax will be charge to the renters.  Off TSL, property tax will still be paid by the property owners who are not tax exempt. So providing a grant to on TSL renters helps put them on an even basis with off reserve renters as off reserve renters do not pay property tax. 

For owners: Currently in BC there are property tax assistance programs available to all home owners off-reserve. These government programs help homeowners reduce the amount of taxes they pay on their home. It is possible a similar grant program will be available to all property owners – enrolee or non-enrolee, status or non-status – on TSL after the phase-in period.  However the form and size of the grant is to be determined by the K’ómoks government. Again, this will help put on TSL home owners on an even basis with off TSL members.

How will school taxes work on TSL?

School taxes will be a component of property tax and will be paid by property tax payers to the K'ómoks government.

School taxes fund K-12 education. How will K-12 be funded on TSL for non-enrollees?

Precisely the same as occurs today. Status Indians will be funded through the funding agreement between the K'ómoks government and Canada, while non-enrollees will be funded by the province directly to the school board.

Right now pensions are tax-free if earned on reserve. Will these pensions be tax-free after Treaty? Can it be grandfathered to be tax-free?

Pensions will become taxable after the phase-in period for income tax – 12 years after Effective Date. The tax exemption cannot be grandfathered beyond the phase-in period.

When do non-native residents on Treaty Settlement Lands start paying taxes to the K’omoks government?

Non-natives will pay taxes on the effective date. However those taxes will not go to the K’ómoks until the K’ómoks government starts to tax. If the K’ómoks doesn’t start property tax for 12 years, non-natives will pay their property tax to the local government and the Province until the K’ómoks passes a property tax law.

Status Indians who choose not to enroll in the treaty will pay taxes on the effective date, unless they move to an Indian reserve. The tax exemptions only apply on Indian reserves or goods delivered to Indian reserves. K’ómoks Indian reserves will no longer exist after the effective date because K’ómoks will owns the lands and not Canada.

Does a person’s personal income determine the land tax they will pay?

No. Property tax is determined by the value of the property and the property tax rate K’ómoks will charge. There is a situation, if you rent your home from the K’ómoks governments and you have low income then your home can be classified as a “social home” and there will be no property tax. But if you own your home then this would not apply. Personal income only impacts the amount of personal income tax you have to pay.

Who does the assessments for K’ómoks land taxes?

The BC Assessment authority does assessments for nearly all the property in BC. K’ómoks will likely contract with them to perform the assessments.

How will people pay taxes if they are on social assistance or a pension?

You will pay sales tax when you buy taxable items; you will have to fill out a personal income tax form but will likely not be taxable if you are low income or receive social assistance; you will not have to pay property tax if you reside in a band home classified as a social house. If you rent your home from K’ómoks and you have low income then your home can be classified as a “social home” and there will be no property tax. But if you own your home then this would not apply.

What if I don’t pay my taxes?

If you do not pay sales tax, the merchant will refuse to sell you anything. If you do not pay income tax, then the CRA may impose penalties and interest. They will charge you a late-filing penalty. They can attach penalties to your wage and take you to court. If you do not pay property tax then the penalties in the K’ómoks First Nation property tax act will apply.

Why do I pay property taxes when they rent the home?

Property taxes are paid by the owner of the home, unless the owner is tax exempt. Then the tax is paid by the occupant.

The K’ómoks Government is tax exempt so if you rent a home owned by the K’ómoks Government then you have to pay the property tax. If you rent from a private individual then that person has to pay the property tax.

If you rent from the K’ómoks Government, and you are classified as being in a low income category, the K’ómoks Government can designate your rental home as a “social home”.  Social homes are exempt from property tax so there would be no tax applicable.

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Approval of the AIP

Does the approval need 50 per cent plus one person, or 50 per cent plus one per cent?

The approval of the AIP requires 50 per cent plus one person of the people who vote on an AIP. For the AIP, only K’ómoks band members will vote.

Is the approval of the AIP a formal vote?

The approval process for the AIP can be a formal vote or as simple as a show of hands because the AIP is not legally binding. The K’ómoks people have chosen to have a formal vote, a similar process to an election.

What happens if the AIP is approved?

The lands that will be a part of the incremental agreement (lands at the base of Mount Washington and Lot DL 7 in Union Bay) will be transferred to the K’ómoks immediately, and K’ómoks will have access to an additional $4 million in cash to purchase private lands. K’ómoks could then decide if it wants to move forward at the same pace towards a Final Agreement, or it could step back from negotiations and focus on economic development opportunities created by the AIP. In the meantime, the rest of the lands and water that have been identified in the AIP will be protected for K’ómoks.

What happens if the AIP is not approved?

K’ómoks may be requested to repay the outstanding negotiating loan and Canada and B.C. may withdraw the land and cash offer. It is also possible that all Parties may agree to continue negotiations, but is more likely that K’omoks will lose the opportunity to move forward in negotiations.

What else do we lose if members vote “no” on the AIP?

This is a long list. But it includes land, cash, certainty over land, certainty over fish and the negotiation loans would become payable. More importantly, we now have the first opportunity since the arrival of the Europeans to determine how we want the future to unfold and to control how it unfolds. This is a tremendous opportunity. The loss of this opportunity, plus all of the economic development opportunities that come with treaty is difficult to calculate.

Dispute Resolution

What is a collaborative negotiation?

A collaborative negotiation is when two or more parties (in this case, K’ómoks, B.C. and Canada) try to negotiate a resolution to a dispute between one another with no outside help from a facilitator.

What is a facilitated process?

A facilitated process is when the parties use outside help to resolve the dispute. There are four types of facilitation:

  • mediation
  • technical advisory panel
  • neutral evaluation
  • community advisory council.

It is not the facilitator’s job to solve the dispute. The facilitator will assist the parties in coming up with a resolution on their own.

What is arbitration?

Arbitration is when a neutral person listens to all sides of the dispute and makes a binding decision based on the facts of the disagreement. This person will be agreed upon by all parties.

Enrolment and Eligibility

Is enrolment automatic?

No. Everyone who is eligible to be enrolled must apply to the Enrolment Committee to be enrolled under the treaty.

Do I have to be a band member or Status Indian to be eligible?

No. Anyone who fits the criteria under the E&E chapter is eligible to be enrolled. This includes band members, persons of K’ómoks ancestry and adopted children, but you should review the criteria in the E&E chapter to be sure.

Can an individual be enrolled under the treaty and at the same time be enrolled under another land claims agreement in Canada?

No. Anyone registered under any other treaty in Canada cannot be registered under the K’ómoks treaty, unless they withdraw in writing from the other treaty.

Does enrolling under the treaty affect rights or benefits under the Indian Act?

No. Except as outlined in the Tax chapter, enrolling under the treaty does not affect any benefits of a band member or Status Indian. A person who is non-Status remains non-Status after enrolment.

What about adopted, non-native children becoming members?

Adopted non-native children are eligible to enroll.


When will the Implementation Plan be ready?

Work will begin on the Implementation Plan while Final Agreement negotiations are in progress. The plan will be ready before the treaty goes to a referendum as explained in the AIP.

What does the Implementation Plan contain?

Activity sheets, a communications strategy and operational guidelines for the Implementation Committee.

Is the Implementation Plan part of the treaty?

No. The plan will lay out how the treaty will be implemented, but the plan itself will not be in the treaty.

Indian Act Transition

How will the Indian Act apply to K’ómoks members during the transitional period?

The Indian Act will apply to the estates of K’ómoks First Nation citizens who die before the Effective Date and who were, at the time of their death, members of the K’ómoks First Nation band.

The Minister of Indian Affairs will continue to have authority over the property of K’ómoks members who were unable to manage their own affairs under the meaning of the Indian Act immediately before the Effective Date.

The Minister of Indian Affairs will continue to administer the property of infant children whose property the Minister was administering immediately before the Effective Date.


Who must ratify the treaty before it comes into effect?

K’ómoks First Nation, British Columbia and Canada.

What steps are required for the K’ómoks to ratify the treaty?

K’ómoks must:

  1. Call an assembly of K’ómoks members to consider the treaty and whether to refer the treaty to a referendum.
  2. Have an assembly where a simple majority vote will refer the treaty to a referendum
  3. Conduct a referendum on the treaty, as described below.
  4. Vote in the referendum where at least 50 per cent plus one vote of all eligible voters vote to accept the treaty.

What happens if an eligible voter does not vote?

Normally in elections and referendums, if someone does not vote, it is not counted.

What is the Ratification Committee?

The Committee is established by K’ómoks to ensure an independent, fair and accurate vote. The Ratification Committee includes a member named by Canada, a member named by B.C. and K’ómoks representation.

What does the Ratification Committee do?

The Committee does the following:

  • publishes a preliminary voters list based on the information provided by the Enrolment Committee
  • publishes and updates an official voters list
  • approves the ballot for the referendum
  • provides general directions to voting officers
  • conducts and counts the vote
  • publishes the results of the vote
  • provides a written report on the outcome of the vote.

Other Matters

The AIP is not binding. Can Canada back out?

It is possible that Canada can back out of the AIP because it is not legally binding. However, it is highly unlikely that this will happen given all the time and resources all the parties have put into the Agreement in Principle

If we vote ‘no’ can a single family try for self government, their own treaty?


Will we have a status card or a treaty member card?

This is an operational question that we haven’t made any decisions around. It is likely that each K’ómoks member will have a treaty card. It will be necessary to carry the card when exercising harvesting rights (hunting, fishing etc.).  It may also be necessary to have a separate status card, or it may make sense to combine the cards.

Are our members covered by WCB rules and regulations?

The treaty does not change the application of WCB rules.

Will we have water meters?

This is an administrative question and will be determined by the post treaty government and the institution in charge of water distribution. However, it is not likely that any of the basic municipal-like services will change from the way in which they are now provided.

Since our Treaty Settlement Land will no longer be Municipal after Treaty Effective Date, will our mailing address change (currently some of the I.R. addresses are in Comox and others in Courtenay) or stay the same as today?

Because the Indian Reserves will no longer exist on effective date (ED) new addresses may be required. While the Final Agreement likely won't be explicit on the need for address change, new addresses may be required as a result of provisions in the K’ómoks Final Agreement Land, Land Title, Governance, and Roads Chapters. This occurred for the Tsawwassen First Nation when they reached ED.

An  example that would trigger a new address is: On ED, the K’ómoks government has the authority to make land laws that relate to renaming / naming K’ómoks roads / streets on Treaty Settlement Land. If K’ómoks changes the name of a road or a street, any associated addresses would need to change as well.

Re: spouse membership. Who decided and when if a non-member spouse gets benefits? I want my spouse to receive benefits if they are paying into the reservation.

Non-member spousal benefits is something that must be decided in close consultation with the K’ómoks members. We will have more discussion on this between AIP and the Final Agreement.

Who do we leave our homes to, before treaty and after?

Currently, if your home is on an Indian reserve, you can only leave that home to an Indian. After treaty, the community will have to determine which rules will apply. For example, it is possible that the community will decide that lands of former reserves can only be left to band members.  It is also possible that the community may decide that lands can be left to anyone.

What happens to the deed to people’s houses when they still have a mortgage when we go into treaty? Who owns the deeds then?

If there is a mortgage on the property, the mortgage will have to be fully paid off before the property is owned free and clear of any other interest.

What happens when people divorce when they own a home?

In the post-treaty environment, a division of the matrimonial home will be governed by the normal rules when a divorce occurs. This depends on a number of factors, including who has care and custody of the children, whether there was a pre-nuptial agreement, and what other assets are owned by the couple. However, as a general rule, the matrimonial home is divided equally between the spouses.

Do we still get the housing grant?


Can anyone open up a business on TSL?

The opening up of businesses will be governed by our laws. It is most likely that anyone will be able to apply to the K’ómoks administration for a business licence, however that will have to be determined after consultation with members.

What do they have to do to start and will the Band be the register or the business owner?

All businesses will likely have apply for a licence from the K’ómoks administration and pay a fee, but this has not been decided.  The K’ómoks First Nation may own some businesses and private individuals will likely own their businesses. The details will be worked out when K’ómoks develops its own laws and has a process in place for licensing a business.

What housing is available for status members if the vote passes on March 26?

Status Indian members will continue to be eligible for housing programs provided by the Department of Indian Affairs., after a treaty. The vote on March 26th is only for an Agreement and Principle and not for a Final Agreement or Treaty. A treaty will not affect the general housing program provided by Indian Affairs.

Is there going to be community elder housing available for our members?

This is one option that has been discussed as a part of the individual Treaty Benefits Package. There are several other options that have also been suggested, including parcels of land for everyone, a share of profits of K’ómoks corporations and an elders payout. These options will all have to be priced out before a decision is made.

Will BC medical be covered under treaty, or should I be buying medical if it’s not going to be fully covered?

BC medical will be paid in the same fashion as it is currently paid.

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Recently Asked Questions


Is there a model for CCP?

INAC has a handbook of best practices, but every Community has their own needs.  If anyone is interested in seeing what the handbook says, they can download a copy at or we have a copy at the portable for viewing.

How would you update the CCP in the future?

We would likely get more funding and hire a coordinator to work with the community to update it or use an Implementation Coordinator. If people are interested in the legislative process for updating the CCP, this will need to be established in a Lands Act/Planning Act.  Generally, any changes must be made by application to Chief and Council, and then there is a reading and public hearing process.  The other post-Treaty Nations have generally adopted the process in the BC Local Government Act.

Human resources & Capacity Building

What did the 2 people working with Uplands do at the Puntledge Hatchery?

Labour work.  There is some issue with the company being Union.  One of the issues is that much of the work is for labour and we need some work which suits everybody (e.g. Environmental Monitoring).

When is the Career Fair?

The Career Fair was December 10th, 2012 and held at the K’ómoks band hall.  The following organizations participated:

-          Domcor

-          Current Environmental

-          Uplands

-          RCMP

-          Bizworks

-          VIHA

-          St. Joseph’s Hospital

But will the Joint Venture (JV) Companies hire our members? 

The guarantee is that B.C. Hydro will hire our KFN JV Partners.  The language says “make all commercially reasonable efforts’ to hire our JV Partners”.  With respect to Upland, they have to give KFN members priority and if you are qualified for the job, they have to hire you.

 Who made the decisions of where the BC Hydro money is spent?

The decision to where the dollars would be allocated that KFN received from BC Hydro was decided by the previous Chief and Council.

Since previous C+C made these decisions, can we not make changes to them?

This decision can be changed; this is fully dependant on the community and what the community envisions for their future.

Is there a minimum or maximum number of members required to be hired in these JV Agreements?

There is no minimum or maximum number of members to be hired identified in the agreement.

For the joint venture with Domcor, how much capacity does it actually take to create a security company instead of sharing profits with another company?

The word capacity is way over used; however it does take quite a bit of effort to set this company up.  The main issue is to make sure when/if something goes wrong that the person(s) responsible know exactly what to do and very timely in their actions.  For KFN to develop this company on our own we would require members to begin training now in the field of Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S).  This is a two year program, and in addition to the program, getting experience in setting up safety programs.

Can a member be mentored into creating a 100% owned Security Company instead of having a joint venture?

Anyone can be mentored, within the Joint Venture (JV) with DOMCOR. They (or another company) would need to provide the mentorship.

Did we join a joint venture to train and start our own business or to take advantage of opportunities immediately?

The JV was started to take advantage of an opportunity right away or KFN would not receive any work within Security.

Why didn’t we start a security company the same way we started Pentlatch Seafoods?

The security joint venture was created for immediate opportunity. There is nothing stopping K’ómoks, or individual members, from creating a security company for the future.

After Treaty, how many Huu-ay-aht FN members are going back to school and training?

(From Tom Happynook) I can't tell you specifically how many citizens we have going to school or training, but I can tell you (which I think is more important) we are about to draw down our education and training law making authority in our Treaty. 

This means we are taking over the administration of our own education and training and will no longer be relying on the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council to administer our education services. 

This is awesome because now we can begin to really promote education and training to our citizens, young and older. 

Where does education funding come from now? Also where will it come from in the future as programs are continually cut?

Education funding currently comes from Aboriginal Affairs Northern Development Canada (AANDC)

KFN needs to develop our own source revenues to ensure these education programs continually receive the funds needed to provide education.

Land Use Planning

How do we decide which proposals go ahead?

That is one of the things we need to figure out still. We still need to determine how this process will be handled from a community perspective.  It will be an important part of how we go forward.

If we had a greenhouse, wouldn’t the lights from the greenhouses affect nearby residential?

(Gary Rolston) No, this greenhouse wouldn’t require lighting at this point, but if it does in the future the lighting component can be designed so it wouldn’t affect nearby residential properties.

What if you get a bacteria and it wipes out all the plants in the greenhouse concept?

That can be avoided by good management.

How long does it take to get the greenhouse concept working?

Start small in year one until you get it perfected, then in the 3rd year, once you have organic certification and double the size to about a full acre of greenhouses in year 4.

What if we grew some of the native shrubs—maybe do it at Puntledge I.R.  Can we do that?

This is a good suggestion and very achievable.

What are the soils like on Puntledge I.R. #2?

Deeper river sediments—finer sandy, silty loams on the low side of Condensory road and sandier/gravelly deposits above.  Good tillage over much of it—good for agriculture.

When do we start developing the Mt. Washington parcel?

We start right now by planning/visioning.  In order to develop this land we would like someone with deep pockets as we are land rich and cash poor.  Someone also suggested mini-storage. We could start a number of smaller ventures to ‘pay the bills’ until we do a larger project here.  We need land zoning, development policies, vision and values so that we get reputable development partners. 

Does removal of gravel have impacts (referring to remaining gravel on Mt. Washington parcel.

There can be water sedimentation and air quality issues which need to be managed/mitigated.  Gravel removal can also generate revenues and can help in landscaping the site (if we knew what the future use/design would be).

Is there categories and maps (for KFN lands) in our handouts?

No. They will be posted to the website soon for input.  All of the categories will line up with the CCP and will line up with the definitions in the CCP. 

Is there more than one type of greenhouse for this?  Ones that grow year-round?

Yes, first we chose a cooler climate crop so we could grow year-round.  Could use geothermal.  Greenhouses here need to be able to handle higher snowfall.

What if the organic salad mix market disappeared?

KFN could consider producing traditional foods.

Could KFN produce a good healthy food for KFN members?  Could it be a youth project?

Several youth have also proposed this.  It would be a cost to the KFN, but it should come from (or be added) to the CCP.  We need to have succession planning so the folder simply gets ‘handed along’ to someone qualified when it is time.

How would the greenhouse get water?

From the old KFN water licence on the Puntledge, from ground water, from waterlines when we get water from Courtenay across the Condensory Bridge.   There is more than one option.

Shouldn’t the sign at the top of the hill be moved as it says leaving Comox before you even go through our I.R.? 

Signs along the streets are to show the boundaries of the Town of Comox and are put there by the town. Every piece of our land should have a sign.  There is a sign plan ‘in the works’ and there is a cost attached to each.  It is underway and is part of the ‘momentum’.

If there is going to be a new admin building, could we use the current building as a youth centre? :) Maybe renovate the offices and turn them into bigger spaces? 

A new administration building will be used for additional office space for staff. The current administration building will continue to be used as it is now. The gym and the health center always have been and will be available for youth activities. In the future, our community may decide to develop more of a program.

 Will the administration building have an elevator for our elders?

The administration building design is not complete and everything is conceptual at this point.  There could be what is called a lift which will be uses to bring elders up and down.

 Can we use the current admin building as a social services building or a community center?

Options are being searched for right now for what to do with the current administration building.  Ideas are welcome from the community.

Is parking considered for the Administration Building?

Absolutely, the parking will be designed to address safety, aesthetics, access to the beach and overall better traffic flow.

Is there consideration for an outside washroom?

Good idea for an outside washroom for the proposed new administration building, this will be brought into the planning meeting.

Are there any businesses that would commit to renting or leasing our current office building?

KFN has contacted KDC Health and have provided them the first right of refusal to expand and rent this building.

Is there a reason we are not discussing expanding the Nim Nim building at the campground?

No reason behind this discussion, this was just not thought of and this can be looked into for feasibility.

How much profit do we make from the daycare, and would we benefit more from something else there?

K’ómoks members who wish to review financial statements can contact the band office.

 Can we have copies (digital or paper) of the org. chart?

Yes.  These are projections for positions and should be used for individuals to set goals for themselves. Please see the Human Resource department for more information.

How is it possible to monitor and enforce? Where will we get the money?

KFN realizes this is a challenge. We know of other first nations who have created a program for monitoring and enforcement and have found funding for it. KFN will be meeting with those first nations to learn about how we can accomplish this too. The LUP is enforced through the decisions and directions of Chief and Council.

Do we have a lease with DND for the Goose Spit?

The Goose Spit is broken up into four different parcels. The first is the stretch of road, which is governed by Area B of the CVRD. The second is the HMCS Quadra Cadet Base. The third piece is our Indian Reserve # 3, and the fourth is what we have been calling the “tip” of the spit, which has been offered to KFN in our Treaty settlement package.

There is currently no lease with DND for the use of our reserve lands. The “tip” of the Spit comes to KFN with conditions, one of them being that KFN negotiate a lease agreement with DND to use that area for specific purposes when needed, KFN is negotiating this now. The HMCS Quadra Cadet Base is legally owned by BC, and is being used by DND under and Order In Council with Canada. KFN still plans to pursue ownership of the entire Goose Spit. No Spit, No Deal!

Is there any shellfish tenures in front of Gravelly Bay?


Can our shellfish tenures help stop Raven Coal?

I do not believe KFN's shellfish licenses can stop this Raven Coal project. KFN's shellfish tenures and plans with shellfish will help assist in the environmental planning of the project.

Is there fish farming happening on Sandy and Seal Islets?


What lands have been offered in Sayward?

There are two parcels of Treaty Lands near Sayward. There is a 159.7 ha parcel adjacent to the existing IR on the eastern boundary. This land is currently part of the K'omoks wood lot. There is a second parcel south of the Highway 19 intersection with the road into Sayward. It is 74.7 ha, has frontage on the Salmon River as well as the 'airport' road.

Since Forbidden Plateau is designated as a Class C park, does that mean we cannot create a “Wellness Center” of some sort?

The BC government defines a Class C park as: 

  • A Class C Park is Crown land designated under the Park Act whose management and development is constrained by the Act. The requirements for the management of Class C parks with respect to restricting the alienation of interests and protecting natural resources is identical to those for Class A parks.
  • Class C parks are established by order in council. 
  • A Class C park must be managed by a local board appointed by the minister.

The Wood Mountain parcel was offered as a parcel 'with protection'. This currently means that any development of this land parcel needs to address some of the issues which the Province sees as important. The major one is that it currently is a public access point via trails to Forbidden Plateau and the Strathcona Park trails. BC does not see this remaining a Class C park or all of it being public access. It will depend on how KFN wants to develop this parcel, but as long as there is adequate public access to get to Forbidden Plateau and Strathcona Park, there should be little objection from BC.

Is the North East Woods behind Highland School?


What volume of water would you need to service an area such as Sage Hills (Southlands)?

Canadians are viewed as big water users world-wide, but average use per person seems to be decreasing.  Water use is generally calculated as litres per person per day.  In Canada in 2011 the average is 274 litres/per person/day (see for detailed information) a number that has been steadily dropping since 2006. 

For the Southlands, we need to figure out how many people we expect to have in the area.  Generally, you will calculate 2.1 to 2.4 persons per household (this is an average as some people live on their own and some people live in houses with multiple residents).  Then we would need to take a look at the BC and Canadian water standards to figure out how much water we need per person.  You would add in other water capacity for commercial, industrial, and public uses (like clinics and schools).  Some uses use a lot of water (hairdressers, restaurants, fire departments) while others only use a little (small retail stores).  KFN has secured the rights to a large volume of water as part of the Treaty process (over 10,000 cubic decameters) and it is anticipated that this will be ample to service the development in the area.

Note: if people are interested, Sage Hills proposed ~5000 residential units (to be developed over 20 years), a private sport academy, K-12 school, wellness centre, conference centre, hotel, and retail uses.

Do Kensington Island Properties have the money to develop?

Brian McMahon owns the land and is seeking investors to partner with on the development side of the project.  This is a common practice to get the project moved ahead then bring in additional capital to fund the project.

 Do Kensington Island Properties want to lease and develop these lands? Or buy and develop?

They currently own the property, the desire is to sell the lots and develop houses, golf courses, and a marina.

 Do the people in Union Bay get a say in development?

Union Bay residents have been attending community meetings to see what the plans are and have their input.

 What are the lands north of woodlot #2?

The lands north are Chinook Forest Products Woodlot, rural parcels and the Trent River

What is the current sewage system in Union Bay like?

Currently Union Bay’s sewer system is failing septic fields and they are pumping the sewage out into Baynes Sound.

 Where would the canoe be stored if we used the canoe shed as a maintenance shed?

The canoe will be stored up in the storage compound by the current daycare, once the Cultural Arts Building (CAB) is complete then it would/could be stored within the CAB


Is there going to be a place where Treaty events are taking place on the website?

Yes, there is a Meetings and Events tab (in the sidebar).

Do we still need a password to use the website.

No.  We no longer have a password to use the website.

Can you send out meeting information before meetings so we can respond to it in case we want input but can’t get to the meetings?


Pentlatch/Salish Seafoods

How many members are employed by Pentlatch Seafoods?

Currently 1 KFN member works for PSL.

Why only 1?

Would love to have about 20-30 KFN members working for us and the question that I ask the community is why is there only 1 KFN member working?  The KFN members that have come in to my office inquiring about working for PSL want a starting wage of $25-$50 per hour or it is not worth their while working for PSL.  And they want to work 9-5 Monday-Friday.  Anyone understanding the aquaculture industry knows that the industry is not a Monday-Friday 9-5 job; it is a 7 day 24hr a day job.  It requires a huge commitment. (Richard Hardy, PSL)

How is the KFN membership benefitting from the PSL?  

The primary benefits to the KFN membership through PSL have been the increase of the band’s assets.  Currently, PSL have 7 inter-tidal sites equating to 64.3 hectares and two sub-tidal sites equating to 30 hectares.  Those sites, if they were to be sold today, would have a return to the band of about $3-5 million.

Additionally, over the last 8 years PSL has done just over $5 million in sales and dispersed over $3 million in wages.  After operational costs and capital costs (such as seed, etc,) there has been a minor surplus and the Board of Director for the KFN Economic Development Corporation has re-invested those dollars back into further growing the company.  In 2011, PSL experienced a growth in sales of 25%, and in 2012, a growth in sales of 73%.  That enhanced growth, further, led to the purchase of Aquatec Seafoods, which increased the assets of the band by another $1.3 million.

Also, with regards to a dividend being paid out to KFN members for the minor surplus dollars by PSL, that decision lies within the Board of Directors of the KFN Economic Development Corporation.

Who is following behind Tom Broadley in job shadowing at Aquatec Seafoods?  Is there a mentoring program of some sort?

Entering into the management position of a federally registered processing plant is not as easy as one would think.  And that is why we hired the services of Tom Broadley.  With regards to job shadowing for the processing plant—I will at some time take over from Tom in Managing Salish Seafoods (Aquatec plant).  

Who is going to be the manager of Pentlatch Seafoods when you leave?

The door is open on that one.  Ideally, we would like to hire internally.  Someone with aquaculture experience and understands the nuances of the aquaculture industry.  If there are KFN members that want to come and work from the grassroots, and work their way up, then door is open.  

Marine Plan

Is this plan going to help Richard Hardy’s work on Aquaculture?

Our K’ómoks Marine would assist all K’ómoks interests whether it is shellfish aquaculture, access to geoduck licences, protection of Sandy/Tree Island, or ensuring we have access to FSC uses for our community. Specifically to the Band’s initiative on shellfish aquaculture, our marine plan states (pg.64);


  • To be the major players in the shellfish aquaculture industry in our territory; owning the tenures and assets and achieving vertical integration where and when possible.


  • Expand sustainable shellfish aquaculture operations for such species as geoduck, abalone, scallops, mussels, and cockles.


  • Collaborate with other First Nations that are actively involved and interested in starting businesses and operations in the shellfish aquaculture industry.
  • Preserve tenure opportunities for prime shellfish site locations, both deep-water and intertidal by placing a notation of interest over them with the Province of BC.
  • Develop economies of scale for shellfish aquaculture production, processing, distribution and marketing in partnership with other First Nations.
  • Ensure sufficient infrastructure throughout our territories to support shellfish aquaculture expansion.
  • Expand markets for (K’ómoks) Pentlatch Seafood products.

Note also that there is a seafood processing goal, objective and strategy that also relates to our shellfish operations.

Is anything going to be in place to prevent poachers?

People on the planning team are well aware of these issues and working toward solutions.  There is a section in the plan called Monitoring and Enforcement (pg. 32) that states;

Objective: KFN to build a long-term Guardian/Watchmen program that has the ability to monitor and enforce K’omoks, federal and provincial laws.


  1. Develop capacity for Guardian/Watchmen program.
  2. Design a cost effective monitoring and enforcement program.
  3. Coordinate efforts with other enforcement agencies.
  4. Coordinate training with other enforcement agencies.

Now we are searching for resources to implement. 

When will the document be finalized?  Where does the document stay?

Finalized last December, it is a living document, so we can continually revisit and see if it is working.  The document stays with the KFN and Chief and Council will determine who has access to it and for what purpose. We will be determining if parts of our marine plan can go onto our web-site so that we can educate the public on our stewardship practices of our marine resources. We will also determine if and how other FN organizations like Nanwakolas/A’tlegy use our document to support what we are doing. 

Will KFN still be able to access protected areas for FSC or commercial uses?

Yes KFN will be able to access areas for FSC in protected areas. Within the Marine Plan there are tables of allowable uses for all areas within our territory, including protected areas. Our Aboriginal rights are protected under the constitution and the plan states (pg. 5): This marine use plan does not define or limit aboriginal rights (including title), and it does not define or limit the jurisdiction of the K’ómoks First Nation. So yes continue to practice your Aboriginal rights in protected areas.

In terms of economic/commercial opportunities within protected areas, it depends. It depends on who has jurisdiction over the protected area. If we propose a new protection area in our marine plan, then yes we are going to be negotiating commercial use for our Nation if it is appropriate for the specific area. If you are talking about a commercial fishing licence being able to fish in a provincial marine protected area or conservancy then yes the commercial activity is allowed because the province does not have jurisdiction. If it is a commercial activity that you want to take place is something the province has jurisdiction (commercial recreation) then negotiations will be required, so the answer is unclear. In our marine plan we are working towards First Nations enhanced access to economic opportunities in protected areas, which will allow for an equitable share of commercial activity in a protected area for our FN.

How far up have you been collaborating?

We have been collaborating with other Nanwakolas First Nations, internally.  This is the first time we have come to the Community for suggestions and input to the point we can post it and use it. 


Will the government have only K’ómoks members, or can non-members be a part of the government?

The government will consist of three bodies of government; the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary. The Executive will only consist of K’ómoks members. The Legislature is the law making body. They would be allowed to choose a non-voting “Speaker” or chair that can be a non-member. The Judiciary is like a court, and non-members may be appointed to this.

Is the Legislature our government?

The Legislature is the law making body. It is a part of the government. The most important part of the government, from a day-to-day operational point of view is the Executive. The Executive approves policy and is responsible for the financial management of the government. The Legislature makes laws.

If it is all the same people then what is the “check” for transparency?

The current structure is that both the Executive and Legislature will be the same people. This was the recommendation after feedback from two community-driven working groups. The way to keep the Executive and the Legislature in check would be through the judiciary.

If the Executive and Legislative are the same number and the same people then there is no control of what they can do. Is it important that the Executive and Legislature are different?

It is good to have separate Executive and Legislative branches of government. They don’t have to be different people. Normally in Canada, the Executive are also on the Legislative bodies. We could have a smaller Executive and a larger Legislative body. But we have to keep the issue of “affordability” in mind. K’ómoks is a very small community and we will not get extra funding for the Legislature.

Could we have a bigger body of representation for the Legislature? That would be more representative wouldn’t it?

We can have a larger Legislature if that is what the community wants. We can raise this with all community members. It would make it more expensive to operate as a government.

How will the Judiciary be appointed?

That has not been determined.  On the Effective Date, the legislature will have to pass a law to determine how the members of the judiciary are appointed.

“K’ómoks First Nation is a prosperous community where each member has the opportunity for self-sufficiency. We will move forward in partnership, exercising our Aboriginal rights and title, and respecting our historical connection to our lands and to one another.”

- People of the K’ómoks First Nation