Shíshálh Nation and the province are moving forward together on land use planning within the Nation’s swiya (territory) and now local government is seeking involvement – not as stakeholders, but as partners.
At the Jan. 31 Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) board meeting, Roberts Creek director Andreas Tize made a motion that the SCRD contact the forestry and lands ministry to request “active involvement” as a “full partner” in the dialogue between shíshálh and the province about land use planning processes, foreshore agreements and resource management in the district “and any agreements that require the provision of services by local government between the shíshálh and Squamish Nations and the Provincial Government.”
Tize made the motion in reference to what he called the province’s “fairly nebulous” stance on how to engage with land use planning with First Nations, “especially regarding the still fairly new Foundation Agreement.”
That agreement – the first of its kind in the province – was signed last October, and could lead to the creation of a joint land use plan between the province and Nation. The agreement does not reference local government involvement, but does state that “public and stakeholder engagement” will be pursued as the plan is developed.
Following Tize’s presentation of the motion, Area F director Mark Hiltz requested that “full” be dropped from the motion. “Local government isn’t an equivalent government. It almost feels like we are imposing that we are,” he told the board.
Directors unanimously voted to drop the qualifier “full” from the motion.