A.  Tsawwassen First Nation are Coast Salish, an aboriginal people, and speak a dialect of the Hun'qum'i'num language;

B.  Tsawwassen First Nation claim aboriginal rights based on their assertion of a unique, current and historical, cultural connection and use, since time immemorial, to the lands, waters and resources surrounding those areas of Roberts Bank, the Fraser River, the Fraser River estuary, Pitt Lake, the Pitt River, the Serpentine River, the Nicomekl River, Boundary Bay and the Gulf Islands, that comprise Tsawwassen Territory in Canada;

C.  The Constitution Act, 1982 recognizes and affirms the existing aboriginal and treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples of Canada, and the courts have stated that aboriginal rights include aboriginal title;

D.  Tsawwassen First Nation asserts that it has an inherent right to self-government, and the Government of Canada has negotiated self-government in this Agreement based on its policy that the inherent right to self-government is an existing aboriginal right within section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982;

E.  Tsawwassen First Nation has never entered into a treaty or land claims agreement with the Crown;

F.  Canada established Tsawwassen Indian Reserve for the benefit of the Tsawwassen Indian Band;

G.  Tsawwassen First Nation and Canada are signatories to the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management, and Canada transferred to Tsawwassen First Nation land management authority for Tsawwassen Indian Reserve;

H.  Tsawwassen First Nation's existing aboriginal rights are recognized and affirmed by the Constitution Act, 1982, and the Parties have negotiated this Agreement under the British Columbia Treaty Commission process to provide certainty in respect of those rights and to allow them to continue and to have the effect and be exercised as set out in this Agreement;

I.  Canada and British Columbia acknowledge the perspective of Tsawwassen First Nation that harm and losses in relation to its aboriginal rights have occurred in the past and express regret if any acts or omissions of the Crown have contributed to that perspective, and the Parties rely on this Agreement to move them beyond the difficult circumstances of the past;

J.  Canada and British Columbia acknowledge the aspiration of Tsawwassen First Nation to preserve, promote and develop the culture, heritage, language and economy of Tsawwassen First Nation;

K.  Canada and British Columbia acknowledge the aspiration of Tsawwassen First Nation and Tsawwassen people to participate more fully in the economic, political, cultural and social life of British Columbia in a way that preserves and enhances the collective identity of Tsawwassen people as Tsawwassen First Nation, and to evolve and flourish in the future as a self-sufficient and sustainable community; and

L.  The Parties are committed to the reconciliation of the prior presence of Tsawwassen First Nation and of the sovereignty of the Crown through the negotiation of this Agreement which will establish a new government to government relationship based on mutual respect;


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