Seven Secwepemc communities and the Province have committed to collaborating on a long-term reconciliation agreement focused on implementing inherent rights, improving community well-being and advancing government-to-government relationships.
At a ceremony in Kamloops on March 14, 2019, leaders from seven communities of the Secwepemc Nation signed a Letter of Commitment with the ministers of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, and Environment and Climate Change Strategy. The agreement will also be signed by the ministers of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, and Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.
Through this agreement, the Province and the Secwepemc communities affirm their commitment to co-crafting a pathway to true and lasting reconciliation. Taking a cross-government approach, the four ministries and Secwepemc communities will work together over the next two years to find ways to implement Secwepemc rights and title, share decision-making, and build governance capacity.
The seven Secwepemc signatories and the provincial ministries will align their work with the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The agreement sets the foundation for a government-to-government (G2G) relationship that can grow and evolve over time and support self-determination and economic prosperity – now and for future generations.
Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir, Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc & Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwepemc –
“As Secwepemc, we take the long view. Our Ancestors sought to make the most of each situation to ensure the health and well-being of our people and guests in our territory. We celebrate this new beginning to a just and reciprocal relationship between our seven Secwepemc communities and the B.C. government. We are focused on the best possible outcomes for the future generations of our community members and guests who reside in our territory – so that we all may become great and good.”
Kukpi7 Ron Ignace, Skeetchestn & Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwepemc –
“When water is placed at the centre of all of our planning – through a watershed management perspective – this holistic and systems-based approach brings to light our Secwepemc perspective of ‘all my relations,’ how everything interrelates and affects each other. A watersheds management approach breaks down the silos between projects, industries, ministries. Aspects such as cumulative impacts of multiple projects will become essential to decision-making. We are choosing to manage for future generations by placing water at the centre of decision-making for Qwelmínte te Secwepemc G2G.”
Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation –
“Our agreement will guide our government-to-government partnership as we address inherent rights and achieve the economic development and community well-being that will see the Secwepemc peoples, and all people in the region, flourish together for generations to come.”
George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy –
“We want to ensure we hear and understand the values, priorities and perspectives of the Secwepemc First Nations as we build this collaborative partnership with them. This agreement is a key step in advancing lasting reconciliation and building strong government-to government relationships that will benefit the Secwepemc peoples socially and economically well into the future.”
- The seven Secwepemc Signatory Communities include: Adams Lake, Little Shuswap Lake, Shuswap, Simpcw, Skeetchestn, Splatsin, and Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc. They are located in the Central Interior and East Kootenay regions of the province.
- The seven Signatory Secwepemc Communities represent 5,000 members.