Beyond Rights: The Nisg̱a'a Final Agreement and the Challenges of Modern Treaty Relationships

Beyond Rights: The Nisg̱a'a Final Agreement and the Challenges of Modern Treaty Relationships

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Beyond Rights examines the legal, political, and cultural implications of the ground-breaking process of negotiating the Nisga’a treaty.

In 2000, the Nisg̱a’a treaty marked the culmination of over one hundred years of Nisg̱a’a people protesting, petitioning, litigating, and negotiating for recognition of their rights and land title. Beyond Rights explores this ground-breaking achievement and its impact.

The Nisg̱a’a were trailblazers in gaining Supreme Court recognition of unextinguished Aboriginal title, and the treaty marked a turning point in the relationship between First Nations and provincial and federal governments. By embedding three key elements – self-government, title, and control of citizenship – the Nisg̱a’a treaty tackled fundamental issues concerning state sovereignty, the underlying title of the Crown, and the distribution of rights.

Using this pivotal case study, Beyond Rights analyzes both the potential and the limits of treaty making as a way to address historical injustice and to achieve contemporary legal recognition. It also assesses the possibilities for a distinct Indigenous citizenship in a settler state with a long history of exclusion and assimilation.