Given the cultural and economic importance of commercial fishing to BC First Nations, and in particular coastal First Nations, the answer to this question is obviously “yes”. However, this answer must be qualified somewhat: “Yes, provided the inclusion of commercial fisheries in the treaty meets the cultural and economic needs of the respective First Nation”.
Thus, to answer the question, it is necessary to consider:
- modern treaties in BC to date, as they deal with commercial fishing;
- the potential for favourable provisions respecting commercial fishing in future treaties; and