First Nations and Canadian government advance in water management negotiations

Bridge over the Kicking Horse River at Golden British Columbia Canada
Bridge over the Kicking Horse River at Golden British Columbia Canada

Under the Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw Nations Transition to Stage 5 Memorandum of Understanding

The governments of First Nations Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw, Canada, and British Columbia have signed a new agreement that will further advance reconciliation and treaty negotiations over the management of land, water, and natural resources.

Thus, Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw Nation Leaders, Hereditary Chiefs; the Honourable Marc Miller, federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations; and Michele Babchuk, Member of the Legislative Assembly for North Island, on behalf of the Honourable Murray Rankin, provincial Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, have signed the Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw Nations Transition to Stage 5 Memorandum of Understanding.

The Memorandum supports the Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw Nations' right to self-determination. Also, it defines a new relationship between Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw Nations, Canada, and British Columbia by enabling the next steps in the BC Treaty Process.

On the other hand, the Recognition and Reconciliation of Rights Policy for Treaty Negotiations in British Columbia will guide and inform the parties. This was collaboratively developed and released by the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia, and the First Nations Summit in 2019.

Fisheries tradition

To clarify, Chief Terry Walkus Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw Nations said: "Our Nations worked hard because we lost so much after relocation away from our Homelands. We did not have much after we arrived, not even running water. For so many years, we struggled for basic needs to survive."

"The Treaty and work on this Memorandum of Understanding have helped us focus on rebuilding as strong nations once more, with a thriving culture, education, economic development, and better health and well-being of our peoples," he confirmed.

On the other hand, Miller noted: "By working together, we are developing new approaches towards reconciliation that will support the Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw Nations in building a better future for their community and implementing their vision of self-determination for this generation and many to come."

For Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw Nations fisheries is a large part of their history and way of life. Their traditional technics are based on the various resources in the oceans, rivers, and lakes. That is to say, the fisheries crews help to monitor various fisheries, oceans, lakes, and rivers in the territory.

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