Dec. 14, 2016
COURTENAY – Members of the K’ómoks and Qualicum First Nations have an enhanced voice in local forest stewardship and greater opportunity for economic development through forestry agreements signed with the Province today, moving British Columbia and the First Nations further down the path of reconciliation.
Among the agreements signed, a 25-year First Nations woodland licence will provide the First Nations with the opportunity to sustainably harvest 32,000 cubic metres of timber per year. The licence covers nearly 8,300 hectares of Crown land near Courtenay.
While the Province awards forest tenure opportunity to the First Nations, a portion will be provided to BC Timber Sales to put up for auction to support B.C.’s market pricing system. The First Nations and BC Timber Sales have developed agreements that will facilitate mutually beneficial operations within the woodland licence.
The agreements align with and support the Province’s goal of greater reconciliation with First Nations and enhanced economic opportunity for First Nations communities. Working with First Nations to build economic, environmental and community opportunities in the forest sector aligns with strategic actions outlined in British Columbia’s forest sector competitiveness agenda.
This is the ninth First Nations woodland licence issued since the Province began the program in 2011. These long-term, area-based, direct-award forest licences give First Nations a stronger role in forest and land stewardship and make it easier for First Nations forest companies to secure investment and loans.
Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations –
“We continue our efforts to enhance economic opportunity in First Nation communities throughout British Columbia. These forestry agreements with K’ómoks and Qualicum First Nations will provide an added revenue stream and an avenue for greater input into local forest stewardship.”
John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation –
“We value our partnerships with the K’ómoks and Qualicum First Nations. These forestry agreements are a meaningful step towards reconciliation.”
Chief Robert Everson, K’ómoks First Nation –
“Today we celebrate a small victory on the road towards reconciliation between our First Nations and the Province. The strengthened relationship between K’ómoks and Qualicum First Nation and the financial impact of our new business venture will support the need for economic growth and prosperity. I would like to thank Chief Recalma and Minister Thomson for the shared vision and resolve to work together to see this through to its positive end.”
Chief Michael Recalma, Qualicum First Nation –
“Qualicum First Nation sees this forest opportunity as a means of strengthening historical family ties, while building stronger political ties and new business ties between our Nation and K’ómoks. In doing so, we will lay the path for future co-operation between our Nations.”
Michelle Stilwell, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum –
“Long-term partnerships such as this are integral to the continued success of our communities here on Vancouver Island and throughout B.C. Great things happen when people, organizations or groups with a common interest come together to reach a goal. This agreement signifies another step towards a more secure future for our First Nation communities, and communities as a whole, stretching from Parksville to Comox.”
Don McRae, MLA for Comox Valley –
“This First Nations woodland licence and associated agreements will open doors of economic opportunity for the K’ómoks and Qualicum First Nations. Our partnership is a firm statement that we want to continue building on the relationships we have established and working towards reconciliation.”
- The Province has signed more than 240 forest consultation and revenue-sharing agreements and 312 tenure opportunity agreements offering forest tenures with First Nations across B.C.
- Since 2003, B.C. First Nations have received over 146 million cubic metres of timber and over $387 million in revenue sharing.
- First Nations woodland licences have been awarded to the Huu-ay-aht First Nation, Wei Wai Kum First Nation, Hupacasath First Nation, Tseshaht First Nation, Canim Lake Indian Band, Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, Lake Babine Nation, Nee Tahi Buhn Indian Band and K’ómoks and Qualicum First Nations.
K’ómoks First Nation: http://www.komoks.ca
Qualicum First Nation: http://www.qualicumfirstnation.com
First Nations forestry agreements: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/natural-resource-stewardship/consulting-with-first-nations/first-nations-negotiations
Strong Past, Bright Future: A Competitiveness Agenda for British Columbia’s Forest Sector can be found at: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/forestry/competitive-forest-industry
BC Jobs Plan: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan