SOURCE: Tsleil-Waututh Nation

Tsleil-Waututh Nation

May 19, 2016 12:00 ET

Tsleil-Waututh Announces New Era of Environmental Protection in Burrard Inlet

Musqueam Indian Band and Squamish Nation Invited to Form Burrard Inlet Stewardship Council

VANCOUVER, BC and MUSQUEAM, SQUAMISH and TSLEIL-WAUTUTH TERRITORY--(Marketwired - May 19, 2016) -  With a goal to improve ecological conditions in Burrard Inlet, the Tsleil-Waututh Nation is announcing the formation of a Burrard Inlet Stewardship Council. The council will function as a science-based, First Nation-led oversight body for environmental stewardship of Burrard Inlet.

The Nation has invited the Musqueam Indian Band and Squamish Nation to jointly form the council. Other local, provincial, and federal governments, academic institutions, and ENGOs who have a mandate to work on action-based, environmental stewardship will also be invited to participate in this unique initiative.

This new effort to improve the environmental health and integrity of Burrard Inlet is grounded in Indigenous law, guided by traditional values, and respects the shared responsibility to steward the inlet's waters and lands for future generations.

"Tsleil-Waututh envisions a sustainable future for Burrard Inlet, where wild foods harvested by our ancestors are abundant, and our waters are clean and healthy. The launch of this stewardship council is an important step to ensure that future for our region," said Chief Maureen Thomas of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation.

The closure of the Burrard Inlet Environmental Action Program in 2013 left a void in Burrard Inlet for a coordinated, holistic approach to environmental monitoring, data collection, habitat mapping, and ecological restoration.

This announcement comes at the opening of the Burrard Inlet Science Symposium where Tsleil-Waututh will present its recently-released Burrard Inlet Action Plan. It also coincides with the National Energy Board's release of its recommendations regarding the proposed Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline project, which would substantially increase tanker traffic and oil spill risk in the inlet.

The symposium will end with a call to update the provincial water quality objectives for Burrard Inlet to better protect all the ways we collectively use the inlet and its waters and resources.

About Tsleil-Waututh Nation

Tsleil-Waututh Nation is a progressive, vibrant Coast Salish community of approximately 500 members. The Nation is located along the shores of Burrard Inlet in North Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

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