The First Nations Summit and the governments of British Columbia and Canada are pleased to announce the reappointment of Celeste Haldane to another three-year term as Chief Commissioner of the BC Treaty Commission and look forward to continuing to work with her on the innovative approaches she brings to treaty policy.
Haldane was first appointed to guide the treaty process in B.C. on April 12, 2017. One of her most important accomplishments has been advocating for Indigenous rights recognition to be more firmly entrenched into the treaty negotiation process. Her tenure has also overseen the advancement of several First Nations to Stage 5 treaty negotiations, including the historic signing of both the Ditidaht and Pacheedaht First Nations’ Agreements in Principle in June 2019.
The BC Treaty Commission is an independent, impartial body responsible for facilitating treaty negotiations between the provincial and federal governments and First Nations in British Columbia. Its primary role is to oversee the negotiation process to ensure parties are making effective progress in negotiations.
Haldane is a practising lawyer and holds a master of laws degree in constitutional law from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University. Haldane is a member of the Sparrow family from Musqueam and is Tsimshian through Metlakatla.
Celeste Haldane, Chief Commissioner, BC Treaty Commission –
“I am honoured to be reappointed by Canada, British Columbia and the First Nations Summit and to continue serving as Chief Commissioner. Although these are challenging times, negotiations of treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements must be a priority. Investing in reconciliation and Indigenous self-governance empowers healthy and prosperous regions throughout British Columbia. There have been significant milestones in negotiations, including the new rights recognition policy, and the Treaty Commission looks forward to supporting this momentum. I also want to recognize the hard work of all the parties to pivot during these times and maintain progress towards reconciliation.”
Carolyn Bennett, federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations –
“Over the last three years, Celeste Haldane has helped facilitate treaty negotiations in a fair and neutral manner. We are pleased that she will continue to lead the BC Treaty Commission in this important work in British Columbia. We look forward to continuing to work together with the commission and our partners, the Province of British Columbia and the First Nations Summit, to advance reconciliation and support treaty negotiations in B.C. for the benefit of those who live in Canada.”
Scott Fraser, B.C.’s Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation –
“The BC Treaty Commission serves a vital role in this province, particularly as an independent, impartial party to the treaty process. On behalf of the Province of British Columbia, I congratulate Celeste Haldane on her reappointment as Chief Commissioner and look forward to continuing our shared journey on the path to reconciliation.”
Cheryl Casimer, First Nations Summit Task Group –
“Canada, British Columbia and the First Nations Summit passed the Recognition and Reconciliation of Rights Policy for Treaty Negotiations in British Columbia in the fall of 2019. This new policy is founded on the recognition of Indigenous title and rights and provides for co-development of mandates. We are confident that Chief Commissioner Haldane’s extensive background in, and knowledge of, the B.C. treaty process will help guide us through uncharted waters as Canada, British Columbia and the First Nations Summit work towards implementing this transformative new policy.”
Robert Phillips, First Nations Summit Task Group –
“The First Nations Summit congratulates Celeste Haldane on her reappointment as Chief Commissioner of the BC Treaty Commission. We look forward to working with Chief Commissioner Haldane and have every confidence in her ability to work together with other Commissioners to ensure fair and equitable treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements are negotiated in British Columbia.”
Lydia Hwitsum, First Nations Summit Task Group –
“The experience and continuity that Chief Commissioner Haldane brings to the role of Chief Commissioner will assist Canada, British Columbia and First Nations in continuing to advance treaty negotiations in the face of technological and other challenges resulting from the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures.”