Media Contacts

Jimmy Smith

Deputy Communications Director
Office of the Premier
jimmy.smith@gov.bc.ca

Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, Declaration Act Secretariat

Media Relations
250 896-4348

Dallas Smith

President
Na̲nwak̲olas Council
250 203-0280

Babita Khunkhun

Senior director
Communications
Western Forest Products Inc.
604 648-4562

Backgrounders

About the members of the limited partnership

About Na̲nwak̲olas Council:

The Na̲nwak̲olas Council provides its member First Nations with advocacy and information services, technical support, co-ordination and advice to assist them in their decision-making work. That work includes reviewing applications for provincial tenures and permits referred to the member First Nation for their decision and watching over Aweenak’ola through the Ha-ma-yas Stewardship Network. Through Na̲nwak̲olas Council, the member First Nations come together to make decisions on matters in which they share common interests. They unite to uphold their Aboriginal rights and title using the powerful collective voice on the Na̲nwak̲olas Council. The Na̲nwak̲olas Council engages with governments, industry and partners of the member First Nations to protect the rights of the First Nations, and to ensure they are honoured and respected.

For more information, visit: https://nanwakolas.com/

About Tlowitsis First Nation:

The traditional territory of the Tlowitsis First Nation spans the coastal area of northern Vancouver Island, Johnstone Strait and adjacent mainland inlets. From time immemorial until the 1960s, the Tlowitsis occupied numerous sites throughout these lands. Seasonal travel routes, food processing locations, burial and cultural sites, and other named places extend across the entire territory. Kalagwees, located on Turnour Island, was the Tlowitsis’ primary winter residence.

The Tlowitsis were displaced from Kalagwees in the late 1960s, leading the people to be culturally and physically separated from their traditional territories. In the spring of 2018, the Tlowitsis finalized the purchase of a 635-acre property in the Strathcona regional district, just south of Campbell River. It is here that they will be establishing a new home community for their citizens, known as Nenagwas or “a place to come home to” in English.

About We Wai Kai First Nation:

The We Wai Kai embrace their language and culture to build a proud, healthy, safe and self-sufficient community. We Wai Kai people support and encourage each other to thrive by following the footsteps of their ancestral history, as stewards of their lands and waters, while balancing their role in modern-day society. 

We Wai Kai’s current population is approximately 1,200 citizens, about half of them live on-reserve (split between Cape Mudge village and Quinsam reserve) and the other half live off-reserve. The Nation has five designated reserve lands covering 685 hectares (1,693 acres). We Wai Kai territory includes the east side of Vancouver Island from the Qualicum River in the south to the Tsitika River in the north, from Toba Inlet to Jackson Bay in the mainland and all the islands in between.

We Wai Kai’s investments in forestry include the formation of its logging company and the acquisition of 7,600 acres of prime forest lands through an agreement with British Columbia. We Wai Kai continues to strive for economic self-sufficiency through a principled and practical approach to resource development, balancing economic growth with conservation.

About Wei Wai Kum First Nation:

The centre of Wei Wai Kum territory is Campbell River, on the east coast of central Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Based on the history of their ancestors, Wei Wai Kum territory today extends from the headwaters of Loughborough Inlet north of Campbell River to the Tsable River in the south. It goes westward to the chain of mountains on central Vancouver Island and eastward midway through the Strait of Georgia.

The Wei Wai Kum First Nation (Campbell River Indian Band) engages in a range of social and economic programs, services and activities that promote the well-being and prosperity of the members. These include education, housing, health care, social development and recreation. The First Nation also support activities that preserve and promote the Wei Wai Kum culture, such as training in the Lik’wala language and traditional dancing and singing.

Wei Wai Kum has learned a great deal over recent decades about forestry legislation, and about government and industrial forestry management practices in our territory. It became very clear that without direct involvement in planning and decision-making, and significant benefits flowing to the First Nation from forestry activities in the territory, the First Nation could no longer support the status quo. Coming to an agreement with Western Forest Products Inc., with the support of the Province to reach a deal that addresses issues and concerns, is encouraging. It shows the world what is attainable throughout the territory by working with different partners for a common goal: the well-being of the territory and the people, and the restoration of rightful authority over their lands and waters. 

About K’ómoks First Nation:

For thousands of years, Indigenous people occupied the shoreline of eastern Vancouver Island stretching from what is known today as Kelsey Bay in the north to Hornby and Denman Island in the south, including the watershed and estuary of the Puntledge River. The people called K’ómoks today referred to themselves as Sahtloot, Sasitla, Ieeksun and Puntledge. They lived in Salmon River, Quinsam and Campbell Rivers, Quadra Island, Kye Bay, Comox Harbour and estuary, Baynes Sound and many locations throughout the territory.

Today, K’ómoks is in Stage 5 of the BC Treaty Process, working toward its Final Agreement. During its negotiations, K’ómoks set “Winning Conditions” for its treaty, including ensuring the economic success of the First Nation. The steadfast commitment of K’ómoks, requiring the conditions be met, has resulted in securing financial contributions from both B.C. and Canada toward meeting the First Nation’s vision for forestry and a long-term wood supply.

Through its direct negotiations with the forestry sector in the last three years, K’ómoks gained knowledge and understanding of its forestry capacity requirements. This experience and the First Nation’s commitment to the partnership negotiations has been a significant benefit in concluding the agreement with Western Forest Products Inc. and the First Nations partners, and strengthening relationships in the forestry sector. The opportunity that the partnership represents includes economic, social, stewardship and management of resources in the territory.

About Western Forest Products Inc.:

Western Forest Products Inc. is an integrated forest-products company building a margin-focused log and lumber business to compete successfully in global softwood markets. With operations and employees located primarily on the coast of British Columbia and Washington state, Western is a premier supplier of high-value, specialty forest-products to worldwide markets. Western has a lumber capacity of over one billion board feet from seven sawmills, as well as operates four remanufacturing facilities and two glulam manufacturing facilities. The company sources timber from its private lands, long-term licences, First Nations arrangements, and market purchases. Western supplements its production through a wholesale program to provide customers with a comprehensive range of specialty products.