Tsilhqot’in National Government-BC
Joint Resources Council
The Tsilhqot’in Stewardship Agreement is a strategic engagement agreement between the Province of BC and the Tsilhqot’in National Government (TNG) for cooperative land and resource management. The Fraser Basin Council has served as secretariat on this project from the early discussions to completion of the framework and early steps on implementation.
Initially signed in 2009 (as the Tsilhqot’in Framework Agreement) and renewed in June 2014, the agreement relates to specific territories, primarily west of Williams Lake, which are within Tsilhqot’in traditional territory. The agreement acknowledges Aboriginal rights in the region and aims to create a clear and equitable engagement process with First Nations respecting land and resource activities on Crown land that could impact those rights.
The four participating member communities of the Tsilhqot’in Nation are: Tsi Del Del, Tl’etinqox, Xeni Gwet’in First Nations and ?Esdilagh First Nations.
A pivotal component of the agreement is a process for notification and referral of natural resource development applications within the traditional territories of the five member communities. The framework describes engagement requirements and the process for referral and review, which are dependent on region, type of application or activity, and potential impacts.
Under the renewed Stewardship Agreement, the Province will work to support Tsilhqot’in economic development, and significant economic engagements are underway. Find the Stewardship Agreement on the TNG website.
An impetus for the initial discussions between the Province of BC and these First Nations had been the findings in Tsilhqot’in Nation, a 2007 Supreme Court of BC case on Aboriginal rights and title in the Cariboo-Chilcotin. In 2012 the BC Court of Appeal upheld the Supreme Court decision insofar as affirming Aboriginal rights in the region. In June 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada recognized, for the first time in Canada, aboriginal title to a specific tract of land that lie with the Tsilhqot’in traditional territory: see Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia, 2014 SCC 44.
For more information contact:
Province of British Columbia
Michael Gash: 250 398-4579
Tsilhqot’in National Government
Luke Doxtator: 250 392-3918.
Mike Simpson of FBC (left) and Chad Stump, a TNG Referral Worker and member of ?Esdilagh First Nation,
display certificates from the Province of BC. The Tsilhqot’in Framework Agreement was one of the finalists
in the 2012 Premier’s Awards (partnership category), and FBC was acknowledged for a supporting role
in the process.