For Immediate Release
April 20, 2012
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations
Kwantlen and other First Nations vital to B.C. forestry
FORT LANGLEY – A new agreement that will put forestry revenue directly back into the Kwantlen First Nation community is further evidence of the key role First Nations are taking in B.C.’s forestry sector, announced Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister Mary Polak today.
Polak joined the Kwantlen community to celebrate the signing of a Forest Consultation and Revenue Sharing Agreement (FCRSA) that reflects ‘on the ground’ forestry activity in Kwantlen’s traditional territory. The Kwantlen First Nation is located in areas along the Fraser River and Stave River in areas of Fort Langley, Maple Ridge and Mission.
Kwantlen’s FCRSA agreement flows a percentage of the forestry revenue directly back into the community and allows the First Nation to decide where it is needed most. The three-year agreement provides Kwantlen with $81,464 in the first year.
B.C. launched a new harvest-based revenue-sharing model in December 2010 and to date has signed 87 FCRSA agreements with First Nations throughout the province.
In addition to revenue-sharing, FCRSAs also provide a consultation process for operational decisions related to forestry in the area. This streamlines consultation, provides certainty to the land base and provides a positive investment environment for industry and opportunities for First Nations and non-First Nations community members.
First Nations have used the revenue for purposes ranging from funding support for land and resource negotiations, community hall improvements and youth worker funding, to community information sessions, after-school care and education programs.
Another Stó:lō community, Seabird Island, used their FCRSA agreement to help get their logging crew back up and working full-time on their forest licence, providing training opportunities within their community by bringing younger members on as part of the crew.
First Nations are managing over 300 tenures throughout the province and, as of January 2012, held tenures representing over 15 per cent of B.C.’s allowable annual cut.
B.C.’s recently released Forest Sector Strategy makes partnerships with First Nations in forestry a priority. Over the next year, the Province will pursue new forest tenure opportunity agreements that provide First Nations with both short and longer-term certainty of supply for their businesses, with the goal of achieving 13 new tenure agreements in 2012-13.
In December 2011, B.C. signed the first-ever First Nations Woodland Licence, with the
Huu-ay-aht First Nation, which allows First Nations to manage specified areas of Crown forest next to, or within their traditional territories, to support local economies and allow communities to manage forest lands consistent with their culture and values. Eight new First Nations Woodland Licences are expected in 2012-13.
Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Mary Polak –
“First Nations participation is a vital part of B.C.’s forest sector and the signing of this FCRSA agreement with the Kwantlen First Nation will allow them to continue to participate in and benefit from harvesting activity in their traditional territory.”
“By signing this FCRSA agreement, Kwantlen will be putting forestry revenue back into their community to help realize economic and social goals, while supporting industry with clarity on operational decisions.”
Chief Marilyn Gabriel of the Kwantlen First Nation –
“This new agreement provides good opportunity for our community to continue to build capacity, diversify our economy and play a larger and more involved role in forestry activity within our traditional territory. I am encouraged that a share of forestry revenue will flow back to the benefit of our community.”
Minister of Energy and Mines and MLA for Fort Langley-Aldergrove Rich Coleman –
“In 2006, when I was Minister of Forests and Range, Kwantlen First Nation signed B.C.’s first-ever Forest and Range Opportunity Agreement. I’m delighted that Kwantlen are continuing to play an important role in the forest sector with this new agreement, which will contribute to the continued development and well-being of their community and all of the people of Fort Langley.”
To see a copy of the Kwantlen First Nation agreement, go to: http://www.newrelationship.gov.bc.ca/agreements_and_leg/forestry.html
To see a copy of Our Natural Advantage: Forest Sector Strategy for British Columbia, go to:
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
Kwantlen First Nation
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect