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Province accelerates funding to Lake Babine Nation to support economic development

Province accelerates funding to Lake Babine Nation to support economic development

April 16, 2021 at 9:34 am  BC, News, Politics

To support Lake Babine Nation with economic recovery from the pandemic, the Province is accelerating $22 million ahead of schedule under the 2020 Lake Babine Nation Foundation Agreement.

“A key aspect of the Foundation Agreement is the provision of immediate benefits to Lake Babine Nation that can be deployed to build our economy for the benefit of the Lake Babine Nation people,” said Chief Gordon Alec, Lake Babine Nation. “B.C., by accelerating full payment of these key funds, demonstrates a real commitment to the shared vision we have co-developed.”

The accelerated payment will mean the Nation can initiate economic development and forestry investments on a larger scale, and do so sooner. Lake Babine Nation will create a new Sovereign Wealth Plan to protect, invest and grow this investment, now and for future generations.

“Transferring these funds now, rather than spreading them out over the years, helps support Lake Babine Nation’s economic development initiatives – aiding the immediate recovery from the pandemic and helping lay a foundation for the long-term prosperity of everyone in the region,” said Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. “The Foundation Agreement with Lake Babine Nation is a model for new, flexible agreements that support reconciliation. It is also an example of how building strong relationships can help us work together to overcome unforeseen emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Foundation Agreement is a comprehensive and transformative framework for reconciliation that was signed by Canada, Lake Babine Nation and the Province in September 2020. It provides a roadmap for how the Nation and the provincial and federal governments will work together to advance Lake Babine self-governance, boost economic development, collaborate on major land and resource decisions, and promote community health and well-being.

The agreement offers an innovative new model for future agreements in B.C. and a concrete example of how the Province and Canada are working with First Nations to put the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into practice.

Funding under the Foundation Agreement provided $1 million last September and was scheduled to provide $7 million this year. To support Lake Babine economic recovery, the Province is now providing all $30 million of the forestry and economic development funds committed in the Foundation Agreement immediately.

Quick Facts:

  • The Foundation Agreement includes an initial set of benefits from the Province, including: $43 million in provincial funding over five years and 20,000 hectares of provincial Crown land.
  • Lake Babine Nation is comprised of five communities, Old Fort, Tachet, Fort Babine, Woyenne and Donald’s Landing. Together, they have more than 2,500 citizens.

Learn More:

Announcement of Lake Babine Nation Foundation Agreement:
https://news.gov.bc.ca/23156

Lake Babine Nation Foundation Agreement:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/download/32022A47920E4934AF0481BC7E297E32

Factsheet on Lake Babine Nation Foundation Agreement:
https://engage.gov.bc.ca/govtogetherbc/consultation/lake-babine-reconciliation/

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