The agreement in principle outlines the elements of a treaty for the Ditidaht and Pacheedaht First Nations, including land and resource management, harvesting rights, protection of cultural and economic heritage, and economic development. The Ditidaht and Pacheedaht have signed an agreement that has been in the works for a quarter of a century and sets First Nations in the final stages of negotiations with the province and Canada. Two First Nations in the Sooke area have signed an agreement in principle with the provincial and federal governments that bring them closer to the creation of a formal contract. He estimates that it may take another three years before a final agreement is reached, but a number of issues still need to be resolved with the province and Canada, including how fishing rights are recognized. Pacheedaht First Nation: pacheedahtfirstnation.com/ parts of the 75-kilometre-long West Coast Trail and the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve are included in the proposed land, fiduciary and self-administration agreement that was signed Friday at a ceremony in Victoria. The AIP will lay the groundwork for negotiations on our final contract. It contains sections on our sub-implantation areas, which are lands that own and govern Ditidaht, governance, harvesting, cultivation, environmental protection, federal parks, taxes, funding, forest relations with the three levels of the Canadian government (federal, provincial and municipal) and other issues. We will also negotiate the implementation and the resulting funding. It does not contain details of our fishing rights, water or provincial parks, all of which are negotiated at the final agreement stage.

In addition, we have negotiated framework agreements that give Ditidaht a much broader say over decisions made on land outside the STL, but within our traditional territory. Links to the agreement in principle: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/natural-resource-stewardship/consulting-with-first-nations/first-nations-negotiations/first-nations-a-z-listing/ditidaht-first-nation www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/natural-resource-stewardship/consulting-with-first-nations/first-nations-negotiations/first-nations-a-z-listing/pacheedaht-first-nation VICTORIA – A popular British Columbia backcountry trail known for its hiking challenge must be part of an agreement in principle between the federal and provincial governments and two Vancouver Island First Nations.