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Minister’s statement on celebration of Broughton Archipelago Transition Initiative

May 6, 2023 at 2:05 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Nathan Cullen, Minister of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship, has released the following statement about the government-to-government work that’s supported the Broughton Aquaculture Transition Initiative:

“B.C. government representatives accepted invitations to attend and witness a gathering hosted by the ‘Namgis, Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis and Mamalilikulla First Nations in Alert Bay this week to recognize progress that’s been made on the Broughton Aquaculture Transition Initiative. They include Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, Lana Popham, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, Fin Donnelly, Parliamentary Secretary for Watershed Restoration, and Michele Babchuk, MLA for North Island.

“B.C. and these three First Nations have made great strides in recent years to develop a positive, government-to-government relationship, which has resulted in these Nations being empowered to have a greater say in the future of the aquaculture sector within their territories.

“In 2018, the ‘Namgis, Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis and Mamalilikulla First Nations and the B.C. government reached a historic agreement to establish a process for shared decision-making and consensus-based recommendations to protect wild salmon in the Broughton Archipelago.

“This agreement was the first of its kind in B.C. and highlighted the B.C. government’s commitment to advancing reconciliation with First Nations and rebuilding B.C.’s wild salmon populations for future generations. It led to significant changes in salmon farming policy and supported the protection and restoration of wild salmon stocks. The federal government and industry supported the agreement, which enabled all parties to implement the agreement and work together on an orderly transition plan for open-net fish farms in the region.

“I’d like to acknowledge the past efforts and leadership of ‘Namgis Chief Councillor Don Svanvik, former Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis Chief Councillor Robert Chamberlin, and former Mamalilikulla Chief Councillor Richard Sumner, as well as Lana Popham, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, former premier John Horgan, Doug Donaldson, former minister of forests, lands, resource operations and rural development, and Scott Fraser, former minister of Indigenous relations and reconciliation. They all helped get us to this point.

“Achievements to date include the development of the consent-based decision-making process and the implementation of First Nations monitoring and inspection of fish-farm operations in their territory.     

“Wild salmon are vital to the social, economic, and cultural fabric of this province. The Broughton Aquaculture Transition Initiative incorporated collaborative decision-making based on reconciliation and respect, which considered diverse viewpoints and led to these First Nations making important land-use decisions in their territories.”

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