The B.C. government has taken another step forward regarding reconciliation within the province as a new agreement has been officially made in Powell River.
On Friday, the Tla’amin Nation and the province signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) committing to work together for the future of tiskʷat site, which is now a site of a former pulp and paper mill.
“This is a once-in-150-year opportunity for Tla’amin to have some level of reconciliation at tiskʷat. We need to responsibly manage the decaying infrastructure and create new opportunities so that future generations are not saddled with a toxic legacy,” said Tla’amin Hegus (Chief) John Hackett.
“tiskʷat is our homeland and this MOU is a powerful symbol of the province’s commitment to work differently with Tla’amin and to ensure the greatest degree of local benefit.”
B.C. Premier David Eby said the government is committed to “righting past wrongs” to work together to create benefits for the Tla’amin Nation.
Haisla Nation aims to unlock ‘transformational’ opportunity with LNG pitch
“The Tla’amin people are deeply connected to this land, but they were pushed out of their village to make room for industry without having a say in the development of the site and without reaping any economic benefits,” Eby said.
“Through this agreement, we are committing to righting past wrongs and working together to create environmental and economic benefits for the Tla’amin Nation, the surrounding community and the whole province.”
The agreement is part of the province’s commitment to Modern Treaty Nations to build relationships that are “dynamic, evolving and improving over time.”
The signing of the MOU was witnessed by the oldest and youngest living members of the Tla’amin Nation, which symbolizes the destructive legacy and general opportunity that the two governments recognize at tiskʷat.
Suspect in Maine shootings found dead, ending 2-day manhunt
New anti-trespassing bill in N.B. considered a ‘necessary step’ by some
The MOU focuses on three areas of collaboration: environmental stewardship, economic development and Tla’amin’s long-term goal of site repossession. Through the MOU, the Nation and the province will maintain a “multi-ministry intergovernmental forum” to address Tla’amin’s interests at tiskʷat.
“We have the opportunity to change the future for what is now a decommissioned mill site,” said Murray Rankin, B.C. Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.
“This MOU furthers reconciliation between the province and the Tla’amin Nation by reinforcing our commitment to stand with our treaty partner and find ways to ensure that Tla’amin’s interests for the site have the best chance possible, which will benefit not just the Tla’amin Nation, but also the entire region.”
The ongoing journey toward Truth and Reconciliation
© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.