Treaty Land Sharing Network intends to build relationships, not access land without permission

The intent of bringing a Treaty Land Sharing Network to the Peace Region is to build relationships between local First Nations and landholders.
A view of the Peace Valley.
A Treaty Land Sharing Network is a voluntary process. ( Jordan Prentice, )

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The intent of bringing a Treaty Land Sharing Network to the Peace Region is to build relationships between local First Nations and landholders who participate in the voluntary process. 

In January, Scion Strategies Ltd.’s Dale Bumstead, and Urban Systems’ Edward Stanford, presented the concept of Treaty Land Sharing at an Electoral Area Directors Committee and Rural Budgets Administration Committee meeting. 

During the presentation, Bumstead explained Treaty Land Sharing Networks have found success with Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 in Saskatchewan by giving Treaty people the ability to access land for cultural and ceremonial practices, and hunting. 

Treaty Land Sharing launched in Saskatchewan in 2021 and has 36 locations spreading across 16,000 acres.

The purpose of Treaty Land Sharing is to honour the intent of the original Treaties by sharing the land for mutual benefit while connecting farmers and ranchers with Indigenous people by providing safe and respectful access to their land.

Over the past few weeks, misinformation has been spread across local social media platforms, insinuating the purpose of Treaty Land Sharing is to give local First Nation members access to private land without the permission of landholders. spoke with Bumstead in order to confirm the true intention of the concept.

According to Bumstead, Treaty Land Sharing is a voluntary process, and both landholders and members of local First Nations “need to be all in for it to work.” Bumstead added the concept of Treaty Land Sharing has absolutely no connection to Treaty Land Entitlement (TLE) whatsoever.

“It’s an initiative and a concept that I thought was really interesting when I read about it from Saskatchewan,” said Bumstead.

“I really like the idea of trying to forge some opportunity here to continue to work and build those relationships. It creates the opportunity for landowners who may want to create that relationship with their neighbour.”

Bumstead emphasized at this time, the concept of bringing Treaty Land Sharing Networks is simply an idea he pitched to the Peace River Regional District (PRRD) board in hopes of receiving support to further explore the initiative. 

“We haven’t done anything further than broaching the idea of the concept with the regional district,” said Bumstead.

“This fear on social media indicating that First Nations people are trying to get access to their land without approval is completely false and completely untrue.”

Bumstead continued by explaining trespass laws in B.C. require the consent of a landowner to give permission to have someone access their private land.

“There isn’t anything we’re even thinking about that would ever impede upon, or interfere with those legal rights,” said Bumstead.

“This is a voluntary process for people to participate in or not.” 

The PRRD will address the concept of Treaty Land Sharing during a committee of the whole meeting at the Pomeroy Hotel and Conference Centre in Fort St. John on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. 


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