Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chief Moses Martin have signed the hisiikcumyin pathway agreement that will guide future reconciliation negotiations between B.C. and Tla-o-qui-aht on areas ranging from sustainable land stewardship to protection of cultural heritage.
“The signing of this important document represents 19 years of discussions,” Chief Martin said. “We are pleased that we are finally moving forward on the path of reconciliation.”
hisiikcumyin (pronounced [his-SEEK-to-me-un]) is a Tla-o-qui-aht phrase that translates as “the way we should go.” The name of the agreement underscores the partnership the Province and the Nation are committing to in order to move forward together on matters vital to a prosperous future for both B.C. and Tla-o-qui-aht.
“The new hisiikcumyin agreement between Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and the Province is a crucial guide on our shared journey to reconciliation,” Rankin said. “Our work together must live up to the name of the agreement, that we will work together. We will work side by side on matters like economic development and environmental protection – items vital to the Nation and everyone in the region.”
B.C. and Tla-o-qui-aht have developed a work plan within the hisiikcumyin agreement that sets out key pieces that will be the subject of future agreements. Priority topics include:
- the development of an economic diversification plan and strategy for community-based job creation;
- Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation management and stewardship of tribal parks;
- exploring shared management, benefit agreements and collaborative governance for parts of Meares Island and Opitsaht;
- language preservation and revitalization;
- land transfers, which will be set out in a future agreement; and
- recognizing and implementing the Tla-o-qui-aht Land Vision, which includes establishing clear, reliable and efficient tools for shared decision-making.
This framework of priorities will help create a foundation for collaboratively developing economic and conservation-oriented opportunities that benefit the Tla-o-qui-aht people and the other communities on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
The hisiikcumyin agreement also lays a foundation for B.C. and Tla-o-qui-aht to open discussions with Canada to negotiate a tripartite agreement implementing Tla-o-qui-aht title, rights and self-government.
- The Tla-o-qui-aht Nation has about 1,200 members and is located on the west coast of Vancouver Island near Tofino.
- Tla-o-qui-aht is a member of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council
Link to agreements: