Musgamagw Tsawataineuk Oppose Central Coast Land Resource Management Plan and Boycott 2010

Posted by admin on Feb 6th, 2006

For Immediate Release. February 6, 2006

The combined Territories of the Four Tribes make up a significant portion of the proposed Central Coast Land and Resource Management Plan (CCLRMP) area and also the Broughton Archipelago is shared exclusively by the Four Tribes. We have our own distinct relationship and attachment with our lands and waters within our territory like many distinct First Nations in the Province; we are determined to protect our values and traditional teachings, which sustain our mother earth and our way of life.

We know our situation is different from other First Nations who have participated in these provincial stakeholder processes. We actually live in our home country and depend on our environment and enjoy our resources, as we have for thousands of years and we have not moved from or been removed from our homelands despite the isolation, danger,
difficulty of travel, cost of living and all the other detractions of today’s society. It is this isolation, which has protected us from our enemies, and restrained the loss of our culture and preserved our attachment to our lands and resources.

The Tsawataineuk First Nation explored the CCLRMP process, it requested additional funding, above what other First Nations were offered to participate, because the Tsawataineuk First Nation was the only nation who was not funded by other processes such as the BC Treaty Commission process nor did the Tsawataineuk sign a *Forest and Range Agreement, therefore we did not have the same resources, especially the technical capacity to meaningfully participate and make informed decisions.

There are many First Nations who chose not to participate in the Land Resource Management Plan (LRMP) process for their own reasons and we respect that. There are First Nations such as the Statlimc Chiefs Council who have agreed to their own process, outside the Lillooet LRMP, based on a government-to-government relationship consistent with the New Relationship Agreement.

Last year our people were compelled to demonstrate and protect a sacred place called Holden Creek (Wasilas), where our members stopped International Forest Products from blasting a road through an old growth cedar stand, as cedar and other resources remains valuable to us, and is no longer abundant.

Our Tribal Council passed a resolution to boycott the 2010 Olympics as a result of our environmental concerns and the impacts to our marine resources. These decisions do not come without reason other then the protection of distinct values to the indigenous.

Although the BC Government has realized decades of denial of our Title and Rights has not worked and has entered into a New Relationship, the Government must acknowledge the need for a new approach to resolving and reconciling conflicts over land issues. The unselfish principles of the New Relationship need to be enacted if there is to be true economic certainty and a golden decade for all.

We have formally asked that the BC Government remove our Territories from the CCLRMP map and cease all discussions of any areas in our territory. We expect that this announcement does not refer to our Territories, as we believe that adequate and meaningful consultation has not occurred.

In November 2005, our Four Tribes sent out an Official Notification in regard to this process and again we are publicly stating any Land Resource Management Plan that conflicts, competes, or disregards our own Land Use Vision without direct consultations and proper protocol is an infringement of our Title and Rights.

We understand an Agreement-In-Principle is not the final agreement, nor legally binding. We hope that final agreements will be derived in the spirit and intent of the New Relationship.

We have stated our position for two years, prior to the Supreme Court of Canada’s historic Haida and Taku River Tlingit decisions and prior to the  New Relationship. We continue to feel strongly and necessary to keep old policies in check, such as BC’s Consultation Policy, until transformative change occurs and old policy and attitudes cease desist. We hope, before 2010, that this will be the case.

Eric Joseph, TFN Chairman
(250) 974-3013

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