The agreement signed today appears to focus on the forest industry. The province will provide $5.5 million to shíshálh Nation to implement the agreement through a five-year report. The Shíshálh reached level 4 (agreement in principle) as part of the BC contract process, but in 2000 they opposed it. After 23 months of negotiations, the Shíshálh Nation and the province signed the first major reconciliation agreement of its kind between the government and an indigenous community. The reconciliation agreement sets out the conditions for a government relationship between the province and the self-managed Shíshálh, formerly known as the Lachelt First Nation, in terms of economic development and environmental protection. Government B.C is being handed over to three parcels of La Kronland and $36 million to the Shíshálh (Sechelt) First Nation in a “first” and “pioneer” reconciliation agreement. “This is a historic day that our people have worked on for generations. We have advanced any path to true reconciliation,” said Chief Warren Paull, shíshálh Nation. “Every step of the way, we have tried to create an adequate foundation based on the recognition of our governments, our laws and our jurisdiction, on a real relationship between government, the protection of culture and our natural environment, and on real investments in economic growth. Today, it is thanks to a whole new type of agreement that will be for decades to come, for the permanent benefit of our nation and all those who live on our territory. This is the first major reconciliation agreement between this provincial government and a First Nation. It is a progressive and collaborative approach to the implementation of the title shíshálh and rights, as well as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It is also a new model that overcomes some of the obstacles that have been coincidences and conflicts in the past. “The agreement represents the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in action, as we move towards reconciliation, self-determination and long-term economic prosperity for the Shíshálh Nation and the entire region.
We are proud to help the Shíshálh and honor their ties with their swiya, which will strengthen the exciting work we are doing together,” said Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation B.C is providing approximately US$36 million to support land purchase and implementation costs. Funds for forestry implementation and initiatives will be spread over the first five years of the agreement, while both sides plan for the evolution of the agreement to encompass other types of land-based decisions and resources. At the time, John Rustad, then Minister of Relations and Reconciliation, called the reconciliation agreement “the first stepping stone.” .