Members of Lake Babine Nation will benefit from forestry skills training and traditional ecological knowledge development that helps advance Lake Babine’s participation in the forest sector, made possible through $210,000 in funding from the Province.
Approximately $110,000 will support Lake Babine Nation members in gaining the skills and training needed to enter forest sector occupations. This forestry training may also help the nation fill roles in the newly launched, community-owned forest company Lake Babine Forestry Services Ltd.
The forestry training will be available to community members from all Lake Babine communities and is expected to be delivered between April 2017 and March 2018.
An additional investment of $100,000 will support development of a catalogue and inventory of existing Lake Babine Nation traditional ecological knowledge. In collaboration with Lake Babine, this information will help support incorporation of traditional knowledge into resource management planning and promote good forest stewardship.
These projects align with action items in the Province’s recently released forest sector competitiveness agenda, including maximizing economic, environmental and community opportunities for First Nations and supporting forest sector workforce planning and skills training.
Additionally, these projects support broader commitments between the Province and Lake Babine Nation to advance Lake Babine’s role and direct participation in the regional forest economy. They also build upon Lake Babine Nation’s woodland licence that was issued in August 2016, covering approximately 36,500 hectares and providing a timber volume of up to 74,000 cubic metres per year. Forest tenures such as First Nations woodland licences support shared objectives of Lake Babine and the Province, including to expand economic prosperity in Lake Babine communities and the regional economy through increased capacity, partnerships and participation in the local forest sector.
Investments in skills training are an important component in government’s Rural Economic Development Strategy. Forestry skills training and traditional ecological knowledge development for Lake Babine Nation demonstrate the action being taken by the B.C. government to strengthen, grow and diversify rural First Nation communities. Developing employability and traditional ecological knowledge of members within the Lake Babine Nation community builds on the immediate investments and long-term action plan outlined in B.C.’s Rural Economic Development Strategy that are expected to create over 26,000 jobs and add $2.8 billion to provincial GDP.
Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations –
“This skills training program delivers on one of the commitments in our forest sector competitiveness agenda, namely targeted training to encourage greater First Nations involvement in the forest sector. We are also taking a broader view on forest stewardship by working with Lake Babine Nation to incorporate traditional ecological knowledge into the engagement process and decision making.”
Donna Barnett, Minister of State for Rural Economic Development –
“We are focused on enhancing economic development opportunities in rural communities throughout British Columbia – including First Nations communities. This funding will help support families by supporting members of Lake Babine Nation with the skills to help them find sustainable employment in their community.”
John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation and MLA for Nechako Lakes –
“This funding and associated training is part of a broader strategy with Lake Babine to help prepare Lake Babine Nation members to achieve and maintain good, family-supporting jobs in the natural resource sector. Partnering in job creation and employment opportunities and developing traditional ecological knowledge is part of the Province’s commitment to long-term reconciliation with First Nations.”
Wilf Adam, Chief, Lake Babine Nation –
“Expanding Lake Babine Nation’s forestry activities is a top priority because forestry is the most significant economic activity in our territory and it drives the regional economy. This community-based training will bring forestry-related skills and knowledge to the doorsteps of our community members, many of whom live outside of urban centres and otherwise lack access to training. The training will build capacity for our newly launched Lake Babine Forestry Services company. The traditional ecological knowledge project will also increase Lake Babine’s participation in forestry and it will support stronger forest stewardship by B.C. and Lake Babine in our territory.”
- The Province currently has 247 forest consultation and revenue-sharing agreements and over 318 tenure opportunities agreements offering forest tenures with First Nations throughout B.C.
- Since 2003, B.C. First Nations have received more than 146 million cubic metres of timber and more than $448 million in revenue sharing.
- First Nations woodland licences have been awarded to the Lake Babine Nation, Huu-ay-aht First Nation, Wei Wai Kum First Nation, Hupačasath First Nation, Tseshaht First Nation, Canim Lake Indian Band, Nee Tahi Buhn First Nation, Lheidli T’enneh First Nation and K'ómoks-Qualicum First Nation partnership.
- Through the BC Jobs Plan and the B.C. Skills for Jobs Blueprint, the Province is working with Aboriginal and First Nation communities to help build long-term partnerships that promote economic growth, to strengthen education and skills training opportunities that improve employment outcomes and to drive economic productivity.
- A key target of the Blueprint is to increase the participation of Aboriginal people in the workforce by 15,000 by 2024, including through supporting the Aboriginal Community-Based Training Partnerships program which has allowed more than 2,000 Aboriginal learners in 69 communities through 110 projects to access further education, training or employment since 2012.
Lake Babine Nation: http://www.lakebabine.com
Strong Past, Bright Future: A Competitiveness Agenda for British Columbia’s Forest Sector can be found at: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/forestry/competitive-forest-industry
Read about the Lake Babine Nation First Nations woodland licence: https://news.gov.bc.ca/11702
First Nations forestry agreements: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/natural-resource-stewardship/consulting-with-first-nations/first-nations-negotiations
BC Jobs Plan: http://www.bcjobsplan.ca
B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: https://www.workbc.ca/Training-Education/B-C-s-Skills-for-Jobs-Blueprint.aspx
More information on the B.C.’s Rural Economic Development Strategy can be found at: https://bcjobsplan.gov.bc.ca/b-c-s-rural-economic-development-strategy