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."
* 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
And so it begins....