British Columbia and the McLeod Lake Indian Band today celebrated an agreement to strengthen their government-to-government relationship while supporting economic development opportunities.
The government-to-government agreement creates a consultation process between the band and the Province for natural-resource development and wildlife management, and supports the social and economic well-being of the band members.
It also establishes a collaborative management committee for the Omenica area, encompassing approximately 23,000 square kilometres, which will focus on environmental stewardship in balance with a strong forest economy and a common goal of maintaining the availability of timber.
The agreement balances McLeod Lake’s treaty rights with land and natural resource development in their traditional territory and ensures the McLeod Lake Indian Band has a meaningful role in the management and economic development of those resources and a share of the revenue.
The government-to-government agreement includes $5.8 million to invest in a long-term trust to support the community’s youth as they grow to adulthood. The goal is to promote educational pursuits and members will be able to access funding up to the age of 35 years if they get their B.C. graduation certificate.
The agreement provides revenue sharing with the Province from oil and gas activity on the band’s traditional territory. The Province will provide $1 million over the life of the agreement, which extends until March 31, 2024, to help with implementation.
British Columbia has also entered into four new revenue-sharing agreements with the McLeod Lake Indian Band as part of the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund. The agreements provide the band with a percentage of the revenue the Province receives from the independent power producers operating in Quality Creek, Septimus Creek, Thunder Mountain and Tumbler Ridge, located within the band’s traditional territory.
John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation –
“The Province has had a long and constructive relationship with the McLeod Lake Indian Band. This agreement will ensure that we continue to work well together while strengthening rural economic development for businesses and families in the community. The success of rural communities is vital to the success of British Columbia.”
Chief Derek Orr, McLeod Lake Indian Band –
“The McLeod Lake Indian Band is happy to take this next step with the provincial government to ensure that we have a voice in the prosperity of our members and all strategic discussions that affect our traditional territory. And it provides the means for us to create future opportunities for our young people.”
Mike Morris, MLA, Prince George-Mackenzie –
“The McLeod Lake Indian Band leads in creating entrepreneurial opportunities in our province within the First Nations community. This agreement will ensure more certainty and will no doubt lead to greater business accomplishments and opportunities.”
Pat Crook, mayor, District of Mackenzie –
“McLeod Lake Indian Band is an important economic partner with the District of Mackenzie and we are happy to see a formalized agreement between the McLeod Lake Indian Band and the Province.”
- McLeod Lake Indian Band is 138 kilometres north of Prince George.
- The band has 556 members, living in McLeod Lake, District of Mackenzie, Chetwynd, Prince George and throughout North America.
- McLeod Lake Indian Band has been included in Treaty 8 since 2000.
- The band has two Natural Gas Pipeline Benefits Agreements in the past two years for the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Line and Coastal Gas Link.
- Related to Site C, the band has agreements with B.C. Hydro: Impact Benefits Agreement, Contracting Agreement and Tripartite Land Agreement.
McLeod Lake Indian Band: mlib.ca
For a copy of the government-to-government agreement, visit: ow.ly/Tox1309DKde