The Hupacasath First Nation have signed an agreement with the B.C. government giving the First Nation access to new, sustainable economic opportunities that reflect their traditional values.
Today's agreement will provide the Hupacasath First Nation access to timber through several small, area-based tenures and also allows for the development of new tourism opportunities. By providing dedicated tenures, the government of B.C. is supporting the First Nation's goal of being a partner in economic development and better resource management.
The agreement includes:
- A First Nation Woodland Licence at Great Central Lake of approximately 800 hectares. This licence will allow the Hupacasath First Nation to manage areas of historical significance.
- A short-term non-replaceable forest licence of 20,000 cubic metres at Great Central Lake.
- One new woodlot tenure at Sproat Lake and an expansion of the Hupacasath Woodlot Licence 1902.
- Recreational and sustainable tourism opportunities at Great Central Lake.
- Exploring opportunities to protect cultural resource features on Thunder Mountain.
The establishment of additional Old Growth Management areas within the Great Central Lake landscape unit, to protect a longer term supply of cultural cedar.
A collaborative decision-making process to create an environment for meaningful, effective and efficient consultation.
Over five years, $305,000 to support the Hupacasath First Nation's consultation capacity within their traditional territory.
The opportunities outlined in the agreement will be implemented over the next three years.
Under 'Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan', the government of B.C. is committed to advancing and concluding agreements with First Nations to provide certainty for investors and more opportunities for Aboriginal communities and families.
Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations -
"This agreement shows that when we work together we can reach solutions that respect traditional values and respond to the needs of today's communities."
Chief Steve Tatoosh, Hupacasath First Nation -
"I am pleased with the completion of this accommodation agreement. The agreement will provide many new opportunities for Hupacasath in forestry, tourism and other initiatives, all of which will lead to much needed job creation.
One of the cornerstones of the accommodation agreement is the formation of a Collaborative Forest Council, which will allow us to be proactive in protection of our culture, land and our environment, and doing so in a way that is less costly and more efficient than going through the courts."
Robert Duncan, Chief Negotiator and CEO, Hupacasath First Nation -
"This agreement will result in a more productive relationship with government and will give us tools needed to achieve Hupacasath's Land Use Plan as well as provide opportunities to pursue economic independence".
- This agreement accommodates Hupacasath First Nation for the 2004 removal of private land from Tree Farm Licence 44 and is in accordance with the 2005 and 2008 decisions of B.C. Supreme Court Justice Smith that there be an accommodation of Hupacasath's interests.
- The Hupacasath First Nation has been an active participant in the forest industry for over a decade, and currently operates a woodlot licence near Port Alberni.
- In March 2009, the B.C. government signed a five-year Forest and Range Opportunity Agreement with the Hupacasath First Nation, through which they have received over $370,000 from the province.
- The traditional territory of the Hupacasath First Nation is in the Alberni Valley, on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Hupacasath First Nation: http://www.hupacasath.ca/
First Nations Forestry Agreements: http://www.newrelationship.gov.bc.ca/agreements_and_leg/forestry.html and
BC Jobs Plan: http://www.bcjobsplan.ca/
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
Hupacasath First Nation