The B.C. government and the Tsilhqot’in National Government have signed a letter of intent (LOI) outlining the next steps for reconciliation discussions which include: additional time for Tsilhqot’in community engagement, a detailed assessment of immediate economic opportunities, and expedited work to support moose recovery.
B.C. and the Tsilhqot’in Nation are negotiating a broader reconciliation framework agreement that lays the foundation for comprehensive and lasting reconciliation, for promoting economic development and investment in Tsilhqot’in territory and for improving the social, cultural and economic well-being of the Tsilhqot’in people.
The LOI recognizes the need for immediate steps to continue to build the trust, confidence and commitment between B.C. and the Tsilhqot’in Nation that will support the success of long-term reconciliation efforts. The LOI underscores the importance of taking concrete action to improve Tsilhqot’in participation in the economy, and create jobs and new opportunities for Tsilhqot’in community members to support healthy Tsilhqot’in communities.
In the coming weeks, B.C. and the Tsilhqot’in National Government will convene a joint working group to examine the potential of a restart of the River West Forest Products Mill and review options for supporting feasible business options on the site. The working group will be comprised of representatives from the Tsilhqot’in Nation and senior staff from provincial ministries.
The LOI supports the need for further community engagement within the Tsilhqot’in Nation about the broader reconciliation negotiations. Additionally, B.C. and the Tsilhqot’in Nation have agreed to work together to identify immediate measures to support the recovery of moose populations.
John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation –
“B.C. and the Tsilhqot’in want to improve the quality of life for the Tsilhqot’in people as soon as possible – not in one or two generations. The letter of intent we have signed is an important part of the work we are doing to help achieve that goal. It sets out the initial steps to demonstrate the practical results that can be achieved by working together.”
Chief Joe Alphonse, Tribal Chairman, Tsilhqot’in National Government –
“The next few months will allow the Nation to get a closer look at the economic opportunities on the River West site while further engaging our members and forming partnerships with the Province. A history of mistrust of B.C. is still very real for us – we are using this as a test of B.C.’s commitment to reconciliation.”
Link to Letter of Intent: http://ow.ly/TE7lW