Bonaparte Indian Band

November 14, 2006 14:55 ET

Bonaparte Indian Band Begins New Relationship with Belkorp Environmental

CACHE CREEK, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 14, 2006) -

Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available on the CP picture wire via CCNMatthews

Chief Mike Retasket of the Bonaparte Indian Band has signed a protocol agreement with Belkorp Environmental Services Inc. of Vancouver. The protocol agreement begins a new relationship between the parties based on mutual respect and recognition of each other's interests, the cultural values of the Bonaparte Indian Band and asserted aboriginal title and rights.

"This is a historic moment for our people," said Chief Retasket. "The protocol agreement commits the Bonaparte Indian Band and Belkorp to work together in identifying employment and other economic and capacity building opportunities of mutual benefit, including sponsorship of cultural programs and initiatives, protection and recognition of sacred sites and other cultural heritage values and resources. As part of the agreement, Belkorp will provide the Bonaparte Indian Band with $25,000 annually for cultural awareness initiatives, summer camps for children and youth, and other cultural programs."

Russ Black, representing Belkorp, said, "We are very pleased to have reached this understanding with Chief Retasket and the Bonaparte Indian Band. We believe this protocol agreement will be of significant value to the Province of British Columbia because it is a model for cultural and economic cooperation between a First Nation and the private sector, and because it shows how business can work with First Nations on land where Crown ownership is being challenged."

Among other things, the protocol agreement specifies that the two parties will work together on the Cache Creek landfill, located on Crown lands within the traditional area claimed by the Bonaparte Indian Band. The landfill operator is Wastech Services Ltd., a subsidiary of Belkorp.

Both parties agreed that Bonaparte Indian Band should receive economic benefits from the landfill operations, such as training of band members for post-closure maintenance and monitoring of the landfill, and support to band members for development of spin-off businesses.

"With the signing of the protocol agreement, the Bonaparte Indian Band is pleased to support continued operation of the Cache Creek landfill. We now believe this landfill can be operated to the benefit of our people as well as the Village of Cache Creek and the Greater Vancouver Regional District," said Chief Retasket.

"The Bonaparte Indian Band and Belkorp are studying options to extend the life of the Cache Creek landfill using new technology and lands adjacent to the existing site," added Chief Retasket. "We believe this study may produce a very compelling interim solution for the GVRD's solid waste disposal needs over the next 15 years."

About the Bonaparte Indian Band and the Cache Creek Landfill

With approximately 800 members, the Bonaparte Indian Band is based on a reserve approximately 10 kilometers away from the Cache Creek landfill site. The Bonaparte Indian Band asserts aboriginal title to land surrounding its reserve, including the Crown land used for the Cache Creek landfill.

The Cache Creek landfill has been operated since 1989 as a disposal site for solid waste from the Greater Vancouver Regional District. The landfill currently accepts approximately 500,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste, most of which is trucked 345 km from the Greater Vancouver region. The landfill is scheduled for closure at the end of 2008, although it may be extended by approximately a year under the current operating contract.

The operations at the landfill provide employment for more than 100 people. The village of Cache Creek (population 1,200), led by Mayor John Ranta, is on record as strongly supporting landfill operations as a major benefit to Cache Creek and the region.

Contact Information

  • Bonaparte Indian Band
    Mike Retasket
    Chief
    (250) 457-9624