A Revitalized Interior Forest Sector with First Nations as Full Partners

A Revitalized Interior Forest Sector with First Nations as Full Partners

Vancouver, BC (November 13, 2019) – The BC First Nations Forestry Council (FNFC) has released its submission to the Province laying out recommendations to support the revitalization of the BC interior forest sector with First Nations as full partners.

For too long, First Nations have been left out of decision-making regarding the use of forest lands and resources on their territories. As the original stewards, with a deep connection to the land, First Nations hold a knowledge that goes back generations.

“First Nations need to be key players in the transformation of the forest sector in BC, and involved in the identification of collaborative solutions to address the economic, social, and environmental challenges of managing forest lands and resources” tells Charlene Higgins, CEO of the FNFC.

Regional workshops held in interior BC this fall helped identify four key areas for improvement: shared governance & land use planning, tenure reform and fibre supply, revenue sharing, and increased First Nations participation in the workforce.

The report provides 30 actions the Province can take towards fulfilling their commitment to reconciliation through review of, and changes to, forest legislation, policy, and regulations with First Nations as equal partners.

“This report helps identify changes needed to support sustainable forest management, a stronger, globally competitive forest sector, resilient communities, and reconciliation with Indigenous communities,” tells Higgins. “All British Columbians benefit from a strong forest sector, which First Nations can play an important role in revitalizing.”

The report is available for download at: https://www.forestrycouncil.ca/cpages/interior-renewal

- END -

About the BC First Nations Forestry Council The FNFC is an advocacy organization that works to support Nations in their efforts to increase their role in the governance and stewardship of forest lands and resources, and participation in the forest sector. FNFC does not represent the Nations, nor are we a consultatory body. The FNFC does so by assisting First Nations in their efforts to improve and sustain the economic wealth and wellbeing their communities based on sustainability principles and Indigenous values that ensure the viability of the forests and lands for current and future generations. The FNFC also supports First Nations in their work with governments and others to ensure that First Nations’ needs, values, and principles are factored into forestry-related legislation, policy and program development.