The BC First Nations Forestry Council (”Forestry Council”) assisted the Province in hosting a series of engagement sessions with First Nations communities to gather insights and feedback to inform the development of a FireSmart BC Landscaping Guide.
The Forestry Council acknowledges that Indigenous peoples have a long-standing cultural relationship with fire, and the role it plays in Indigenous stewardship, wildfire mitigation, and prevention. We also recognize the detrimental effects of provincial policies and practices (such as fire suppression) that prevented Indigenous peoples from using controlled burns in the management of forest and rangeland, and how this has contributed to the increased fuel loads and magnitudes of wildfires.
We are happy to see change and recognition in the use of Indigenous traditional knowledge in dealing with wildfires, and that many Nations are currently in the process of revitalizing Indigenous fire management and incorporating traditional knowledge in forest management practices.
FireSmart is guided in BC by the BC FireSmart Committee. To reflect commitments the province has made to the implementation of UNDRIP, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (MFLNRORD) is looking to engage with First Nations in acknowledgement of the unique expertise and insights Indigenous communities can bring to the development of a FireSmart BC Landscaping Guide to help protect lives and communities with tools to increase resiliency to wildfire.