Statement of Practise in Respect of Nisga'a Final Agreement

                                                       Introduction

The purpose of this Practice Guideline is to explain the manner in which the Board will implement relevant provisions of the Nisga'a Final Agreement.  As with all Practice Guidelines issued pursuant to Section 132 of the Code, this document is a general guideline and is intended to provide direction to the labour relations community; however, it does not bind the Board in the exercise of its powers.

  Background

The Nisga'a Nation, an aboriginal people of Canada, and the Governments of Canada and British Columbia have ratified the Nisga'a Final Agreement.  The Agreement constitutes the first modern-day treaty in British Columbia and contains provisions on fisheries, lands and resources, access to lands, environmental assessment and protection, Nisga'a government, taxation, financial transfers and cultural artifacts.

 The Nisga'a Final Agreement provides that all federal and provincial laws of general application continue to apply to the Nisga'a and Nisga'a Lands unless the Final Agreement specifically states otherwise.  The Agreement does not affect existing federal or provincial jurisdiction or matters of industrial relations. Employers and employees operating on Nisga'a lands will continue to be covered by existing federal and provincial laws depending on the specific nature of the business in question.  This will be the case regardless of whether the business is owned/managed by aboriginal people or by non-aboriginal people.

 Sections 63-67 at Chapter 11 of the Nisga'a Final Agreement relate specifically to labour relations and state:

              Duty to Accommodate

63.  Nisga'a Lisims Government may make laws prescribing the aspects of Nisga'a culture, including aspects such as cultural leave from employment, to be accommodated in accordance with federal and provincial laws of general application by employers and employees' organizations that have the duty to accommodate employees under those federal and provincial laws.

 

Industrial Relations

64. If, in any industrial relations matter or industrial relations proceeding involving individuals employed on Nisga'a Lands, other than a matter or proceeding arising from a collective agreement, an issue arises in respect of this Agreement or Nisga'a culture, the matter or proceeding will not be concluded until notice has been served on Nisga'a Lisims Government in accordance with the rules for giving notice that govern that matter or proceeding.

65. In any industrial relations matter or industrial relations proceeding to which paragraph 64 applies, Nisga'a Lisims Government may make representations concerning this Agreement or the effect of the matter or proceeding on Nisga'a culture.

66. Any representations of Nisga'a Lisims Government in an industrial relations matter or industrial relations proceeding before a board, commission, or other tribunal under paragraph 65 will be in accordance with the rules in respect of the industrial relations matter or proceeding and will not affect the ability of the board, commission, or other tribunal to control its process.

67. For greater certainty, paragraphs 64 to 66 do not affect federal or provincial jurisdiction in respect of industrial relations, employment standards, and occupational health and safety.

 

 Practice 

The Board will give notice to the Nisga'a Lisims Government of any application made under the Labour Relations Code that may concern individuals employed on Nisga'a lands (see Map attached; see also Appendix "A" of the Nisga'a Final Agreement).

 The Nisga'a Lisims Government may make representations on matters relating to the Final Agreement or Nisga'a culture in the Board's proceedings.

 Information or Questions

If you have any additional questions regarding this practice guideline, please contact the Board’s Information Officer at 660-1300.

 APPENDIX 'A'

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    Effective: 04/13/00
    Revised: 08/2001


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