The Government of British Columbia and the Haida Nation have appointed five members to a unique management council that will exercise shared decision making on Haida Gwaii, announced Mary Polak, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, and Guujaaw, President of the Haida Nation.
“At the heart of the Kunst’aa guu - Kunst’aayah Reconciliation Protocol with the Haida Nation is an unprecedented model of strategic shared decision making that aims to find consensus on the land base,” said Polak. “The provincial government’s participation in the Haida Gwaii Management Council is a critical and very practical demonstration of this government’s continuing commitment to reconciliation with the Haida Nation.”
“We have devised a practical way to work together in providing for the well-being of the lands,” said Guujaaw. “Having resolved many of the immediate conflicts; co-operation in planning and management will set the condition for a more orderly future.”
The Haida Gwaii Management Council has the authority to make high-level decisions in key strategic areas for resource management on Haida Gwaii, such as implementing the Haida Gwaii Strategic Land-Use Agreement, land-use objectives for forest practices, determination of the allowable annual cut for Haida Gwaii, conservation of heritage sites and approval of management plans for protected areas.
The council consists of two representatives appointed by the provincial government, two assigned by the Haida Nation and a neutral chair agreed to by both parties. The Haida Gwaii Management Council representatives are:
- Derek Thompson - chairperson
- Allan Davidson - Haida Nation representative
- Lindsay Jones - provincial representative
- Darrell Robb - provincial representative
- Trevor Russ - Haida Nation representative
Representatives are appointed for terms of approximately two years. Decisions of the Haida Gwaii Management Council will be by consensus, or if consensus cannot be reached, the chair will cast the deciding vote.
Last June, the B.C. government passed Bill 18, the Haida Gwaii Reconciliation Act, which commits the Province to engage in joint decision making with the Haida through the Haida Gwaii Management Council as envisioned in the Kunst’aa guu - Kunst’aayah Reconciliation Protocol. Following that, the Haida passed a stewardship law in their House of Assembly.
For more information about the Haida Gwaii Management Council and the Kunst’aa guu - Kunst’aayah Reconciliation Protocol, please visit www.gov.bc.ca/arr.
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Council of the Haida Nation
Haida Gwaii Management Council Representatives - Biographies
Derek Thompson, chair
Derek Thompson currently teaches at Royal Roads University. In 2003, he retired as deputy minister of environment after 30 years in the BC Public Service. He served at the executive level for nine years and represented B.C. in various federal, provincial, and international negotiations and forums. As an assistant deputy minister, he established the land-use planning program for the province and was a special commissioner for environmental impact assessment.
Since his retirement, he has worked as an advisor to Canadian governments and the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature, studied and taught in China, and provided advice to WWF International and the government of Norway on programs in Indonesia, Amazonia, and the Congo. Mr. Thompson holds his bachelor of science (honours) from the University of Wales in physical geography and his master of arts in geography from the University of Victoria.
Allan Davidson, Haida Nation representative
Allan Davidson is of Haida ancestry, and is currently the Vancouver regional representative for the Council of the Haida Nation. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Vancouver Island University, and has been a consulting archaeologist for the past six years. In addition to his consulting experience, he has conducted research with Parks Canada and the University of Victoria on Haida Gwaii, and has also worked for both the federal and provincial government in an archaeological capacity.
Lindsay Jones, provincial representative
Lindsay Jones is the director, Coast Region, Negotiations and Regional Operations Division, with the B.C. Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. Since joining the provincial government in 1994, Mr. Jones has been involved in resolving numerous land use issues. This work has included implementation of the recommendations of the Scientific Panel in Clayoquot Sound and the development of ecosystem-based management conclusions of the Central Coast and North Coast Land and Resource Management Plans as well as Haida Gwaii. Active in his community, Mr. Jones is a registered professional biologist and has served on the boards of the College of Applied Biology, the Association of Professional Biologists and the Land Conservancy of BC. Mr. Jones holds his bachelor of science in biology from the University of Victoria.
Darrell Robb, provincial representative
Darrell Robb is the director of the First Nations and Land Use Branch of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. He has more than 30 years of experience in senior forest management and staff development. Mr. Robb has worked previously in various capacities in Victoria, Prince George, and Nanaimo in professional and managerial roles in timber supply, inventory, land use planning, tenures and Aboriginal relations. Mr. Robb is a professional member of the Association of BC Professional Foresters and holds his bachelor of science in forestry from the University of Alberta.
Trevor Russ, Haida Nation representative
Trevor Russ, a member of the Haida Nation, is currently a representative of Old Massett on the Council of the Haida Nation executive. Mr. Russ also represents the Council of the Haida Nation on the Steering Committee for the Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area, Gwaii Trust Board of Directors, Archipelago Management Board for Gwaii Haanas and Coast Sustainable Trust Board. Mr. Russ has worked as a commercial fisherman since 1996, participating in many different fisheries over the years.
President of the Haida Nation
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation