The start of a new government-to-government relationship between the Province, the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council and seven Carrier Sekani First Nations will increase social and economic well-being for the First Nation communities.
The Collaboration Agreement and an Environmental and Socio-Cultural Initiatives Agreement are an opportunity to work together to support responsible resource development, and will strengthen Carrier Sekani First Nation communities through social, cultural and economic development supports such as skills training, education and language programs for community members.
The agreements include new principles for collaborative decision making and a pathway to address reconciliation of rights and title, and will guide how the Carrier Sekani First Nations and B.C. approach future resource sector agreements. The agreements will ensure Carrier Sekani input is recognized and incorporated into natural resource development, including regulatory processes.
Restoration and protection of natural resources is a focus of the agreements to ensure that Nadleh Whut’en, Nak’azdli Whut’en, Saik’uz, Stellat’en, Takla Lake, Tl’azt’en and Burns Lake (Ts’il Kaz Koh) First Nation community members can continue traditional uses of ecosystems, such as food and medicine gathering, and pursuing environmentally responsible business ventures.
Creating these new land and resource management processes will help build greater confidence for industry looking to invest, while also ensuring that Carrier Sekani Nations will benefit from development on their traditional territories.
John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation –
“These agreements mark the beginnings of a new, positive government-to-government relationship between the Province and the Carrier Sekani First Nations, and are a testament to the progress that can be made when we all work together. The process has been constructive for both the Province and Carrier Sekani First Nations as we walk further down the path of reconciliation and understanding.”
Rich Coleman, Minister of Natural Gas Development –
“We are creating economic development opportunities that benefit First Nations and all British Columbians. These agreements will guide our work together, developing opportunities that provide jobs and environmental assurance for members of the Carrier Sekani First Nations and a positive investment climate that encourages economic growth.”
Terry Teegee, Tribal Chief of Carrier Sekani Tribal Council –
“The CSFN Chiefs have worked hard to ensure that these agreements will benefit our people and the region for years to come. These agreements not only allow us to work directly with the Province of British Columbia to try and find solutions for our concerns around the development of natural gas pipelines, but they also provide opportunities for us to mutually address all other natural resource developments within the CSFN territory, like forestry, mining, water quality, and fish and wildlife, as well as our rights and title. We view these agreements not only as a significant step towards reconciliation with B.C., but the start of a long-term collaborative relationship. These agreements provide the opportunity to develop mutually agreeable resource development plans for the Carrier Sekani territory for the continued benefit of all.”
- The combined territories of the Carrier Sekani First Nations under these agreements accounts for approximately 80,000 sq. km (8 million ha) in north-central B.C.
- Carrier Sekani First Nations are seeking collaboration with all levels of government, and various industries to ensure that decision-making, revenue-sharing and environmental practices include those that protect Carrier Sekani First Nations’ rights and interests.
- The combined population of Carrier Sekani Tribal Council member nations is more than 5,500 people living on- and off-reserve, including in Takla Lake, Tachie, Burns Lake, Fraser Lake, Vanderhoof, Fort St. James, Prince George, and Vancouver.
- Funding for skills training and language revitalization is included within the Environmental and Socio-Cultural Initiatives Agreement.
Carrier Sekani Tribal Council: carriersekani.ca
Reconciliation agreements with First Nations: http://ow.ly/S2WK6