Aboriginal Rights & Title
Of the many initiatives developed under the Aboriginal Rights & Title Department, a powerful historic achievement is the designation of Kweh-Kwuch-Hum, a.k.a. Mt. Woodside, as a Cultural Heritage Resource Feature.
This special designation ensures that much of the mountainside opposite the Sts’ailes reserve IR5 will remain a protected spiritual area for all time. This sacred area is used by the Sts’ailes people and Xwelmexw smilha - associated with the ceremonial longhouse practices of Sts’ailes.
One of the greatest accomplishments of Rights & Title is the completion of the Strength of Claim document – a peer-reviewed comprehensive compilation of oral history, ethnography and archaeology outlining the Sts’ailes traditional territorial boundary. This significant, detailed document has been beneficial in our dialogue and negotiations with government, industry, municipalities and First Nations.
Rights & Title continues to partner with many government and industry sectors to benefit the Sts’ailes people with a fair share of lands and resources within our traditional territory.
Examples of positive developments include:
- Forming positive relations with the green energy industry (independent power producers).
- Signing an interim agreement with Statlu Sand and Gravel, Inc.
- Building positive relations with DFO and the sports fishing industry.
- Having our own people monitoring our rivers and waterways as Fish Guardians.
- Achieving successful negotiations with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts for the management of campsites within our traditional territory.
- Moving forward with a Memorandum of Understanding with the Harrison Hot Springs Village.
- Signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Kwikwexwelhp Healing Village to establish today’s successful inclusion of Sts’ailes input and culture in the Kwikwexwelhp healing program, including involvement in the 5-year redevelopment plan for the facilities.
- Negotiating nation-to-nation agreements with neighboring First Nations.
- Partaking in the Hemlock Resort 60-year development plan.
- Developing a coordinate consultation process and standardizing the referral process with the Integrated Land Management Bureau and all other BC Government Ministries.
These achievements help set an effective and efficient standard for how industry, government and First Nations relations can be carried out in BC.
The Integrated Land Management Bureau recently approached Sts’ailes to discuss land tenure exchange at 10 Mile Bay for recreation and tourist enhancement. Other ministries, such as the Ministry of Forest and Range, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts, and the Ministry of Transportation, will be involved with this exciting project.