There is no real definition of what a Core Treaty is. The concept is that we focus on keeping in the treaty, those things that are directly related to “Rights Recognition”. This would include the Right to self-government and law making, harvesting rights (fish, wildlife, migratory birds and gathering), as well as rights to lands, water, and some fiscal matters. These matters make up much of the core elements of a treaty.
There are numerous matters that have been included in the older treaties that are procedural or that happen before the treaty takes effect, and these do not need to be a part of the treaty. For example, ratification takes place before the treaty comes into effect. Dispute resolution is all procedural, as are matters related to the Indian Act transition chapter. There are also many elements in the Self-government chapter that are procedural or that restrict how the right is exercised. The K’ómoks treaty team feels that many of these matters need not be a part of the Core Treaty or Rights Recognition Agreement.
There are also matters that are strictly operational which are more about the details of how a treaty is implemented as opposed to the recognition of rights. These can be placed in an operational agreement that is not a part of the treaty so that they can be easily changed with the agreement of the Parties, otherwise changes would require federal and provincial legislation.
For example, the Access chapter is mostly about the access by third parties to K’ómoks Treaty Lands, so this should not receive constitutional protection. Because of this, the old treaties were large and unreadable. We are trying to modernize the old treaties and keep only those key matters linked with the recognition of rights in the treaty. Other matters can go either in the appendix or side agreements or other constructive arrangements or may not be needed at all. It is a long tedious exercise, but it will make for a better and more understandable document.