Carrier Sekani First Nations, Province, Sign Pathway Forward Agreement
Prince George, B.C. – The provincial government, the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council and seven Carrier Sekani First Nations have completed a temporary, $24 million one-year agreement.
Whubats’ut’en Nus Whetee Agreement – the Interim Pathway Forward Agreement – was signed the end of last month and according to the Province will “jointly improve stewardship, business and job opportunities in the forestry sector.”
Victoria says the agreement “Includes measures to support Carrier Sekani forestry, business development and partnerships, and deeper participation in forest-resource management and environmental stewardship.”
In addition to that, the deal includes joint initiatives to “boost the skilled labour force and promote new partnership opportunities between Carrier Sekani and non-Carrier Sekani forestry operators.”
The agreement has also established a forum for both parties “to explore reconciliation approaches.”
The $24 million agreement includes $8 million in economic benefit payments and a further $12.5 million for forestry revenue sharing and forestry projects.
Nadhleh Whut’en, Nak’azdli Whut’en, Saik’uz, Stellat’en, Takla Lake, Tl’azt’en, Burns Lake First Nations and the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council are all signatories to the agreement.
The combined territory of the Carrier Sekani First Nations totals about 78,000 square kilometres and a population of more than 10,000 people living on-and-off reserve.
Communities include Takla Lake, Tachie, Burns Lake, Fraser Lake, Vanderhoof, Fort St. James, Prince George and Vancouver.
Tribal Chief Terry Teegee with the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council reacted publicly this morning.
“At this point we are pleased. It’s just a temporary, one-year agreement in terms of negotiations on forestry issues. So, it’s still a work in progress and we still haven’t reached a final agreement on forestry matters.”
He added he’s “satisfied” with the economic benefits portion of the deal and is hopeful a permanent agreement will be reached sometime in the future.
“I think it’s a good start. Nevertheless, it’s always going to be a work in progress considering how much resources are taken off our territories and I really believe this is going to be a starting point where we’re going to reach some sort of an agreement in the next few years.”
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