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NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
2009PREM0079-000754

December 11, 2009

Office of the Premier
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
Haida Nation

 

 

B.C. AND HAIDA ACHIEVE HISTORIC RECONCILIATION PROTOCOL

 

VANCOUVER – Greater certainty in land use decisions through shared decision making, increased prosperity through responsible economic development on the land base and a commitment to continue working together towards a comprehensive reconciliation will all result from a historic reconciliation protocol – Kunst’aa guu - Kunst’aayah, which means “the beginning” – signed today by Premier Gordon Campbell and Guujaaw, President of the Haida Nation.

 

The Province also committed to renaming the Queen Charlotte Islands as Haida Gwaii, in recognition of the long history and habitation of the Haida Nation.

 

“This protocol acknowledges the unique place Haida Gwaii and the Haida Nation hold within the province of British Columbia, and it demonstrates B.C.’s continued commitment to the New Relationship,” said Premier Campbell. “The protocol will support the Haida in their goal of building economic and social well-being on the Islands by creating jobs and economic opportunities for members of the Haida Nation and their neighbours on Haida Gwaii. I want to thank the Haida Nation for their commitment and leadership to build a strong future for their people and all British Columbians.”

 

“After a hundred years of conflict, we have set the ground for a more productive era of peace,” said Guujaaw. “We have already agreed to the care and protection of the land; and now we develop processes for more responsible management. This marks an opportunity to build a relationship on mutual trust and to design a model for a sustainable economy.”

 

The protocol builds on the success of the Strategic Land Use Agreement signed between B.C. and the Haida in 2007, which laid out how Crown land and forest resources of the islands will be used, establishing zones for both economic activity and ecosystem protection. The model for shared decision-making negotiated in this protocol is founded upon the collaborative decision making that led to that agreement.

 


 

The one-of-a-kind structure for shared decision-making provides for a joint management council to make decisions in specified key strategic areas for the management of resources, made up of two representatives each from the Province and the Haida Nation, plus a chairperson agreed to by both parties. The Management Council’s strategic direction will be implemented according to a streamlined process that reduces complexity, red tape and the time needed for decisions. This new approach replaces the time-consuming referral processes on most land and resource decisions and will benefit anyone seeking land-use decisions.

 

This protocol initiates a process to reconcile Haida and Crown title.

 

While supporting a sustainable forest industry is key to the agreement, recognizing new ways of sharing resources and supporting jobs is also included; the protocol commits B.C. and the Haida to developing a carbon-offset sharing agreement that would see revenue from future carbon offsets shared between the Haida and the Province. 

 

Through the New Relationship, government and First Nations are achieving agreements that are resulting in positive change in communities around the Province. For a complete copy of the protocol, visit: http://www.gov.bc.ca/arr.

 

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BACKGROUNDER

 

 

Key Elements of the protocol

 

Shared Decision-Making

A two-level process will be established for shared decision-making regarding resource use on Haida Gwaii. The Haida Gwaii Management Council will make key high-level strategic decisions through a joint decision-making process that aims to achieve consensus. If consensus is not possible a neutral chairperson will cast the deciding vote. Joint decisions made at this level will focus on:

·         Implementation and amendment of the Haida Gwaii Strategic Land Use Agreement.

·         Establishment, implementation and amendment of land use objectives for forest practices.

·         Determination and approval of the allowable annual cut for Haida Gwaii. The Strategic Land Use Agreement provides for an initial allowable annual of not less than 800,000 cubic metres per year.

·         Approval of management plans for protected areas.

·         Developing policies and standards for the identification and conservation of heritage sites.

 

The decisions of the Haida Gwaii Management Council will provide direction to a Solutions Table, who will be responsible for operational matters. The Solutions Table will include representatives from both B.C. and the Haida Nation who will work together to review land and natural resource applications and collect the information necessary to support decision making.

 

In bringing together Haida and provincial representatives, this new model provides a streamlined operational decision-making process that reduces red tape and the length of time needed for decisions.

 

Forestry

As an incremental payment on this future agreement, the Province puts up $10 million towards the acquisition of forest tenures on Haida Gwaii on a willing buyer/willing seller basis. The Haida will also receive forest tenure of 120,000 cubic metres, providing the Haida with an increased stake in the island economy.

 

Resource Revenue Sharing

B.C. and the Haida Nation have agreed to pursue additional revenue-sharing opportunities related to new major natural resource development projects that may be proposed within Haida Gwaii

 

Carbon Offset Sharing

Carbon offsets are created when organizations invest in another organization’s emissions-reducing activities or assets. For example, the incremental carbon sequestered within ecosystems, like temperate rainforest, can be measured and used to offset polluting production activities.

 

The Province and the Haida Nation will work to quantify the carbon offsets contained in the temperate rainforests of their traditional territory associated with land use planning decisions and to share a portion of any qualifying offsets.

 

This is a forward-looking commitment to share new carbon offsets generated on Haida Gwaii to the extent that are realized in the future. B.C. and the Haida Nation will work co-operatively to develop and facilitate carbon offsets. A target date of Sept. 30, 2010 has been set to negotiate an Offsets Sharing Agreement.

 

Socio-economic Wellbeing

B.C. and the Haida Nation are committed to recognizing and strengthening the inter-relationship between environmental, social well-being and economic development. This socio-economic approach, with children and families at its centre, will be developed by the Haida Nation with the engagement and support of B.C.

 

Implementation

B.C. will recommend legislation to provide the statutory framework to assist the implementation of this protocol. The target is within the spring 2010 legislative session.

 

The Council of the Haida Nation will recommend to the Haida House of Assembly legislation to provide any legal authority needed to assist the implementation of the protocol.

 

Within four months of signing the protocol, B.C. and the Haida Nation will complete a decision-making framework implementation plan. This will include:

·         A work plan and schedule setting out the application of the decision-making framework.

·         Terms of Reference for the Haida Gwaii Management Council.

·         Terms of Reference for the Solutions Table.

·         Designing a streamlined process for review of applications, which will include a category of applications that will proceed directly to the decision maker without additional review by the Solutions Table.

·         A schedule setting out milestones for B.C. and the Haida Nation to assess the effectiveness of the decision-making framework.

 

To support implementation, $3.2 million will be provided over five years and participation in the joint management arrangements.

 

Strategic Land Use Agreement

The protocol builds on the Strategic Land Use Agreement signed in 2007. This represented a joint agreement between the Province and the Council of the Haida Nation on how Crown land and forest resources on the islands will be used. It establishes zones including additional protected areas, an ecosystem-based management regime for forestry and follow-up committees to guide implementation of the agreement. 

 

 

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Contact:

 

Bridgitte Anderson

Press Secretary
Office of the Premier

604 307-7177

 

 

Maria Wilkie

Communications Director

Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

250 953-3211 (office)

250 361-7720 (cell)

 

Guujaaw

President of the Haida Nation              604-313-8250 cell

Other Contact: Coastal First Nations

604 696-9889                               

 

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.