Nuxalk Nation

December 07, 2010 21:43 ET


Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, Environment Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor VANCOUVER, BC, NEWS RELEASE--(Marketwire - Dec. 7, 2010) - The Nuxalk Nation, known for its unwavering position as a sovereign Nation on equal terms with any other Nation of the world, has signed a Reconciliation Protocol with the Province of BC.

"We were very hesitant to sign the protocol with the Province, given that the courts have repeatedly ruled that the Province has no jurisdiction over unceded lands in what is currently known as BC," stated Spencer Siwallace, the Nuxalk Nation's Elected Chief. "But with Canada endorsing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Province finally acknowledging that Nuxalk rights, title and interests exist, we are cautiously optimistic that the "new relationship" may have some merit."

The Nuxalk Nation Elected Council unanimously voted to enter into the Reconciliation Protocol, becoming the sixth Indigenous Nation to sign. The Gitga'at First Nation, Heiltsuk Nation, Kitasoo Indian Band, Metlakatla First Nation and Wuikinuxv Nation signed the Coastal Reconciliation Protocol on Dec. 10, 2009.

"For too long we have watched as industry and government exploited Nuxalk Territory," said Siwallace. "The Reconciliation Protocol provides an opportunity to agree to disagree with the Province about who 'owns' our Territory and provides the Nuxalk people an additional interim venue to implement Nuxalk decisions within our Territory, while we continue our fight for full recognition as an independent Nation."

The participating Indigenous Nations and the Province have, to date, worked together to:
* Develop a model for estimating carbon offsets related to coastal forests;
* Create recommendations for a regional clean energy action plan;
* Explore new tourism, forestry and conservancy economic opportunities;
* Implement a governance forum to coordinate project work-plans;
* Initiate construction on a ferry terminal at Klemtu; and,
* Develop a guidebook for implementing a consultation framework for land and natural resources.

The Nuxalk signing the Coastal Reconciliation Protocol isn't without its controversy. The Nuxalk Nation has never ceded, sold, or surrendered its Territory to the Crown or otherwise and asserts and maintains its sovereignty over its entire Ancestral Territory. The Nuxalk have made strong stands against the unlawful infringement of its territory, most notably the stands at Ista in 1995 and 1997.

"The Nuxalk do not acknowledge Provincial jurisdiction over Nuxalk Territory," said Siwallace, "we simply understand the reality of the current situation and the signing of this protocol is but a small step towards the implementation of complete Nuxalk control over our Ancestral Territory." /For further information: Art Sterritt, Executive Director, Coastal First Nations (604) 868-9110. Background photo of Chief Spencer Siwallace at: IN: ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, FISHERIES, FORESTRY, POLITICS

Contact Information

  • Spencer Siwallace, Chief
    Primary Phone: 250-799-5613