VICTORIA – The British Columbia and federal governments signed an agreement with the Lake Babine Nation that Chief Gordon Alec says will help lead to its prosperity.
Alec says the deal is an important step in gaining more control over natural resource development.
He says the First Nation wants to create the right relationship with the forestry industry and local government.
The Lake Babine Nation owns one of the largest forestry companies in its territory that operates on its own land and on Crown land.
Alex says the agreement also outlines how the three levels of government will work together to enact First Nations rights and titles over their territory in central British Columbia.
Carolyn Bennett, the federal minister for Crown-Indian Relations, says the 20-year agreement commits all three parties to promoting the First Nation’s social and community well-being, as well as its economic growth.
Scott Fraser, BC’s Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, says the First Nation can be a central pillar in the forestry sector and that their partnership will generate more jobs and economic growth in the area.
In a press release, the three parties say the agreement provides land and immediate financial benefits worth approximately $ 200 million, and establishes negotiations on agreements affecting Aboriginal self-government and title.
The financial benefits are divided into $ 43 million in financing and 20,000 hectares of land valued at around $ 150 million.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on September 18, 2020.
The Canadian Press