Quatsino First Nation photo

Quatsino First Nation photo

First Nation and Western Forest Products take next step towards reconciliation and rights recognition

“This agreement allows us to explore what is possible when we work together”

A northwest Vancouver Island First Nation and Western Forest Products Inc. have entered into an agreement to work together on managing forest resources in Quatsino traditional territory.

This agreement allows for a “bridging period” of increased stability for forestry workers and North Island communities as Quatsino, WFP and the province pursue longer-term reconciliation arrangements that respect and recognize Quatsino’s rights within its territory, and provide for North Island economic stability.

The Quatsino/Western “bridging agreement” builds on a Memorandum of Understanding signed by Quatsino, Western and the province in 2020.

“This agreement allows us to explore what is possible when we work together for a stronger future for everyone today and the generations to follow,” said Quatsino Chief Tom Nelson in a media release. “We are on a journey together and we will reach our destination when our Nation’s rights, including title are recognized and implemented.”

“Business can play a meaningful role in reconciliation, and finding a common path forward is difficult but necessary work for everyone involved,” said Shannon Janzen, Western’s Vice President, Partnerships and Sustainability, and Chief Forester.

The bridging agreement will be in place for three years and builds upon the success of the 2021 Quatsino purchase of certain Western private land near Coal Harbour, supporting the Nation’s longstanding goal of returning the community to the water.

Quatsino and Western look forward to continuing to demonstrate how working together to develop common solutions will create a brighter and more secure future for everyone.

“Western and Quatsino are demonstrating that when government and industry recognize and implement Indigenous rights, all British Columbians can win. This is the type of reconciliation-based work we want to see happen in B.C. and we were proud to support the Memorandum of Understanding that initiated this work – though we know there is much more to be done,” said Murray Rankin, B.C.’s Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.

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