On February 15, 2011, the Maa-nulth First Nations Final Agreement Act was declared in force. This is a unique multi-nation agreement. It was negotiated by seven parties, the Government of Canada, the Government of British Columbia and the five Maa-nulth First Nations made up of Huu-ay-aht First Nations, Ka:yu:kth/Chektles7eth First Nations, Toquaht Nation, Uchucklesaht Tribe and Ucluelet First Nation. This is a self-government agreement with Treaty rights that are protected under the Canadian Constitution.
The Maa-nulth lands are located on the West coast of Vancouver Island. As a multi-First Nation final agreement, it sets out some elements that are specific each to each First Nation, such as each First Nation having its own constitution and its own government and land base. Some elements of the agreement however are aggregated; for example allocations of fish. With the exception of determining Indian status and a transition period for phasing out Indian Act tax exemption, the Indian Act will no longer apply. The Final Agreement requires Maa-nulth First Nations to have constitutions that provide for governments that are democratically and financially accountable.
The fishery allocations for food, social and ceremonial purposes reflect the average annual harvest and will provide for future growth. The increase in the allocation over recent harvests will be accommodated by the voluntary retirement of commercial fish licenses. No priority commercial fishery has been negotiated. The Agreement also refers to a separate harvest agreement which is a contractual side agreement laying out the terms and conditions for the issuance of commercial fishing licenses under the Agreement.
The Indian Act tax exemption is phased out after 8 years for transaction sales taxes and 12 years for other taxes such as income tax. Each First Nation government will have the ability to levee direct taxes on its members and within the Treaty settlement lands. In another side agreement between Canada and four of the First Nations who reside near the national park reserve, the parties have agreed to work cooperatively to plan and manage within the national park reserve.
There were some amendments to the Final Agreement to address overlapping claims, however future accommodation may be necessary. The Final Agreement provides a remedy in the event the courts determine an overlapping First Nation has Aboriginal or Treaty rights that are adversely affected by the Maa-nulth First Nation Treaty. The value of the capital transfer in the Final Agreement is 73.1 million in 2006 dollars. The 90.9 million amount includes interest payments that Canada will need to make to the First Nations to account for the fact the capital transfer amount will be paid out over a 10 year period.