The three-year Tsilhqot’in Stewardship Agreement (TSA) build on the original Tsilhqot’in Framework Agreement (TFA), which formalized a window for referrals on natural resources applications within the traditional territories of the Tsilhqot’in Nation territories.
“This is a continuation of the agreement that we have had over the last five years to facilitate resource extraction within the Tsilhqot’in territories and only to handle a referral process on that interest,” says Tribal Chairman, Chief Joe Alphonse. “Although it is not perfect, over the last year both parties have negotiated enhancements to it. It is not an en-all, be-all agreement but it is something we can work with right now.”
The TSA has refocused the consultation workload to those decisions that have a higher influence on the landbase and “fostered a more collaborative forum of decision making.”
“Creating a more effective and efficient consultation process for resource management is an essential part of making B.C. and attractive destination for investors,” says Rustad. “The work achieved through the Tsilhqot’in Framework Agreement demonstrates the potential for positive partnership between government, industry and First Nations.”
B.C. has pledged $670,000 per year to help the Tsilhqot’in Nation continue the work of the original agreement, including negation capacity, agreement implementation and the support for an improved wildlife committee that will allow more community involvement in addressing the moose decline in the agreement area.
The ministry is also reporting the TSA will support a new forestry strategy, which is said to address concerns related to cumulative impacts associated with mountain pine beetle salvage and sustainable resource development.