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NEWS RELEASE · 22nd November 2011
Ministery-Aboriginal Relations
The Haisla Nation have joined the Coastal First Nations Reconciliation Protocol, a move that will create economic opportunities for the Haisla people and increase certainty over the coastal land base for the First Nation, industry and government.

Haisla's addition to the Coastal First Nations Reconciliation Protocol supports further opportunities in the Northwest. Applicants for tenures or permits will now have a clearer sense of how long it will take to review applications, to help them in their planning processes. For example, when a company is applying for permits for things like log storage facilities or forestry development plans, the protocol lays out timelines within which they can expect a decision from the First Nation, and what level of consultation is required.

Haisla will receive $30,000 per year for the next four years to develop additional capacity to address referrals from provincial agencies.

The Haisla Nation is working in partnership with the B.C. government and private industry regarding the proposed Kitimat liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, highlighted when Premier Christy Clark was joined by Haisla Chief Councillor Ellis Ross in September for the launch of the BC Jobs Plan which includes steps the Province will take togrow a viable LNG industry.

Haisla Nation is the seventh First Nation to sign the Reconciliation Protocol. Through the agreement Coastal First Nations participate in information sharing and recommendations related to resource and land-use, and revenue sharing, including the sharing of atmospheric benefits.

Mary Polak, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation -
"At the launch of the BC Jobs Plan, Chief Councillor Ellis Ross spoke about economic opportunities for his people and working in partnership for projects in their territory. Just two months later, we continue to build our relationship with the Haisla through this agreement, while creating more certainty for companies who want to do business in this region. This is an important step forward in growing the economy in B.C.'s Northwest."

Chief Councillor Ellis Ross, Haisla Nation

"This agreement helps formalize how our Nation and the provincial government can communicate on key issues that matter to both parties, and as Kitimat LNG and other projects and proposals advance in our territory, this relationship between the Haisla and Victoria will grow in importance. It was also important to us that the agreement we signed follows the principles of Aboriginal rights and title,which underpin all that we do."

Quick Facts:

* Haisla Nation is located at Kitamaat Village, 10 km south of Kitimat, at the head of the Douglas Channel on B.C.'s north coast.

* The Coastal First Nations Reconciliation Protocol was originally signed in December 2009 by the Gitga'at First Nation, Heiltsuk Nation, Kitasoo Indian Band, Metlakatla First Nation and Wuikinuxv Nation. The Nuxalk Nation joined the protocol in December 2010.

* Since the protocol was first signed, government and the signatory First
Nations have partnered to:

o Complete construction on a new ferry terminal at Klemtu.

o Create recommendations for a regional clean energy action plan.

o Develop and implement a model for estimating atmospheric benefits related to coastal forests.

o Explore new tourism and forestry economic opportunities.

o Implement a governance forum to co-ordinate project work plans.

o Develop a consultation framework for land and natural resources.

To learn more about the Coastal First Nations Reconciliation Protocol and to see a copy of this agreement, Click Here

For a photograph of Polak with the Chief Councillor and Deputy Chief Councillor of the Haisla Nation, Click Here
Haisla Food basket still key issue
Comment by Nancy Nyce on 23rd November 2011
No amount of money can buy my food basket. As a Haisla women, mother, grandmother - the food we hunt, fish, gather, prepare and eat remains the most important. I will fight to protect this for my grandchildren.

Many nations of the world fight for their religion, land, and identity - I am no different. We as a people will stay in our homeland forever, we do not get up and move when the going gets tough. This land and resource are joined to our existense as Haisla people.

Like other cultures, there are many within our population that have released the desire to maintain our identity; however, many of us strive to hold on to what is left and fight to rebuild what was taken.

Many people believe that Canada is an accepting multicultural country, is it? In my work over the last two decades I have befriended many of different nationalities, I accept them for who they are, I look beyond the color of skin or accent - I strive to understand the individual. I ask for the same.

When groups of people are asked to change what has been custom for centuries and are attacked because of it, it is called racism. By building the pipeline and risking our land and resource, it is asking me to potentially change what has been the core of my customs for years.

Further to my comments look at the newsrelease from BC Coastal First Nations ED Art Sterritt.

Vancouver (Nov. 23, 2011) – “The Coastal First Nations categorically oppose Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Project,” says Art Sterritt.
Sterritt, the executive director of Coastal First Nations, added that “we unequivocally maintain our ban on oil tankers on the coast.”
It was Mr. Daniels, of Enbridge, who spoke of wanting a fresh start with the Coastal First Nation.
Sterritt, on behalf of the board, told Daniels that a fresh start from the Coastal First Nations perspective meant having Enbridge ask the Joint Review Panel (JRP) to stand down. “The Joint Review Process is seen by the Coastal First Nations not as objective, rather as a process that advances the Enbridge Project.”
Subsequently the Coastal First Nations has been informed that Enbridge is not prepared to ask the JRP to stand down or reveal who the other proponents are, he said.
In August of 2009, Enbridge stated that the proposed project would not go ahead if First Nations communities opposed it, said Sterritt. “None of our communities support the project. Nor do any First Nations along the pipeline route.”
“Why would we support a proposal that would put our rivers, oceans and lifesource at risk?” Sterritt said. “It’s time Pat Daniels and Enbridge take the correct action and give us the fresh start they promised. It’s time to shut down the Joint Review Process and the Northern Gateway project.”

For more information:
Art Sterritt, Executive Director
Coastal First Nations

As far as I'm concerned the CFN is still in tune with the people that it represents.

This is another issue that should teach us that before we pass judgement on others that we ensure we get all information on the issue before we pass judgement.

Respectfully, Nancy Nycce
agree nancy
Comment by al on 23rd November 2011
youre absolutely right, the First Nations have been fighting the government for hundreds of years, suddenly there is funding available to help them. sounds like a bribe to me
I wonder why it is this select group of people that get cash enhanced offers when BC does rightly belong to all of the citicens of this province, nothing like having the government create anomosity amongst the people, this kind of manuever creates suspision and hate amongst locals, this allows these uncaring companies to slip in the back door while we fight amongst ourselves. This is not the first time the government has used these tactics
I wonder if council was offered this kind of money for the next 3 years to educate and get the opinions of the locals to make informed and concensual decisions, I bet not. Seems to me we are not all equal. once again, dear government... shame on you
And so it begins....
Comment by Nancy on 22nd November 2011
I am afraid our warriors against Enbridge and pipelines and tankers will not be able to resist the bags full of money.....sad days ahead.