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  NEWS RELEASE 

For Immediate Release

2007ARR0004-000347

March 30, 2007

Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

 

PROVINCE AND HUPACASATH SIGN RECONCILIATION PROTOCOL

 


PORT ALBERNI – The Province and the Hupacasath First Nation have signed a Reconciliation Protocol, providing $550,000 to support economic development, community relations and treaty negotiations, Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister Michael de Jong announced today.

 

This protocol will enable the Hupacasath First Nation to build a better future through community and economic development and will strengthen their relationship with the Province of British Columbia,” said de Jong. “We are building a New Relationship with First Nations based on the principles of mutual respect, recognition and reconciliation of Aboriginal rights and this protocol will benefit the entire Port Alberni region.”

 

The protocol includes supporting community and economic development activities and resolving issues around natural resources. Funds are being provided by the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation and the Integrated Land Management Bureau.

 

            “The Reconciliation protocol includes resources that will enable the implementation of the community’s vision and economic development strategy, including tourism, energy infrastructure and other initiatives,” said Chief Councillor Judith Sayers of the Hupacasath First Nation. “It’s a step that strengthens our important relationship with government and develops a process to resolve past grievances.”

 

To support the Hupacasath First Nation in implementing energy efficiency measures in their homes and developing a run-of-river hydroelectric project, the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources has contributed $445,000 in addition to the funding provided in the Reconciliation Protocol.

 

“The new B.C. Energy Plan supports First Nations and remote community energy programs focusing on energy efficiency, conservation, alternative energy and skills training,” said Richard Neufeld, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. “These projects will help us meet the plan’s ambitious energy efficiency and conservation targets and help create healthier, electricity self-sufficient communities.”


 

The Reconciliation Protocol with the Hupacasath First Nation supports the Province’s Pacific Leadership Agenda to build a new relationship with First Nations and Aboriginal people, conclude treaties, and close gaps in health, housing, education, and economic opportunities.

 

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 1 backgrounder(s) attached.

 

 

Media

contact:

Deborah Bowman

Communications Director

Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

250 953-3211

250 213-3489 (cell)

 

Jake Jacobs

Public Affairs Officer

Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

250 952-0628

250 213-6934 (cell)

 

 

Trevor Jones

Chief Executive Officer

Hupacasath First Nation

250 735-0744

 

For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province’s news feeds using RSS, visit the Province’s website at www.gov.bc.ca.