BC First Nations Forest Strategy

Original Stewards

As the original stewards, and with a knowledge that goes back generations, First Nations are key players in the transformation of the forest sector in BC, addressing the economic, social, and environmental challenges of managing forest lands and resources.

First Nations have a deep and inherent understanding of the waters, plants, animals and soils. The forest is, and has been culturally, economically, and environmentally important as a source of food, shelter, tools, and medicine, as well as providing materials for art, cultural, and spiritual activities.

Engagement Sessions

The Strategy has been informed by feedback received through a series of engagement sessions with First Nations in 2015, 2017, and 2018. These engagement sessions were planned and delivered collaboratively by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD), the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation (MIRR), and the FNFC.  

Engagement sessions with the province and First Nations are for information sharing and gathering input. They do not replace the need for the Crown to meet directly with the Nations G2G in parallel processes with those that have the right to determine their priorities and recommendations for forest lands and resources in their territories.

Become a member to access Regional Engagement Sessions Summary Reports.

Download Strategy & Implementation Plan

The Strategy has been developed around six goals informed by principles that the Province and the First Nations Leadership Council have recognized more broadly as key to the modernization of government to government relationship between the Province of BC and individual First Nations.

BC First Nations Forest Strategy

The BC First Nations Forest Strategy acknowledges the cultural, ecological, economic, and social relationship between First Nations and the forests within their traditional territories.

The Strategy is a collaborative effort with the province and First Nations that is intended to increase the participation of First Nations in the governance and stewardship of forests lands and resources; advance reconciliation, support implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and contribute to the revitalization of the forest sector with First Nations as full partners.

This Strategy will also form a renewed mandate for the BC First Nations Forestry Council.
 

Click here to download

BC First Nations Forest Strategy: Implementation Plan (Members-only)

The Implementation Plan provides an outline of the key work to be advanced in years one to five, as a starting point for the long term and on-going implementation of the Forest Strategy.

Two provincial forums were held in Vancouver and Kamloops in May 2019 to review and provide input into the priorities and actions in the draft Strategy and Implementation Plan.
 

This resource is only available to members. Visit our membership page to find out more.

Announcements

Read Letter from First Nations Leadership Council to Province

We are please to have the full support of the First Nations Leadership Council for the BC First Nations Forest Strategy. First Nations have been providing recommendations for change to forest policies and legislation for a decade with little change by the province. It has been all talk and little action.

It’s time now for action by the province to fulfill commitments they made to First Nations to develop and implement a new BC First Nations Forest Strategy.  Changes are needed to meaningfully share forest revenues, and develop forest policies, programs and legislation to support an increased role of First Nations in the governance and stewardship of forest lands and resources, and their participation in the forest sector. 

Increasing the role of First Nations in the forest sector as meaningful partners will benefit, and support the forest sector and rural BC through the transition it is undergoing.  We are working with the forest industry on their support for the Strategy, where is government?

Click here to read the letter.

First Nations Forest Strategy launched at 1st Annual BC FNFC Conference in Kelowna, BC

25 June 2019

 

Syilx Unceded Territories/Kelowna, BC – The BC First Nations Forestry Council (FNFC) held the first annual BC First Nations Forestry Council Forestry Conference this week at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort in Kelowna within the unceded territory of the Syilx Peoples. 103 First Nations participants registered and attended the three-day event from June 19-21, 2019. Joining the First Nations participants were 25 industry participants, and several government of BC representatives.

Over the three days, presenters representing individual First Nations communities, First Nations businesses, government, industry, and academic institutions all addressed the audience and engaged in discussions.

On day 1 of the conference the BC First Nations Forest Strategy (the “Strategy”) was launched. The Strategy is a joint commitment between the province and FNFC to engage First Nations directly in the development of a revised BC First Nations Forest Strategy and implementation plan. First Nations participants at the conference continued to provide valuable feedback to further refine and strengthen the Strategy.

Charlene Higgins, CEO of the BC First Nations Forestry Council stated, “Time for talk is over. It’s time for change. The Strategy has been advanced over many years through direct feedback and support from First Nations. The Strategy is about raising the bar for all First Nations. To implement the Strategy the province must change the revenue sharing model with First Nations.

She continued: “The Strategy incorporates principles of UNDRIP, and increases the role First Nations play in governance and stewardship of forest lands and resources.”

On the second day of the conference, the focus turned to forestry workforce opportunities. The FNFC presented information about the BC First Nations Forestry Workforce Strategy, and panels tackled topics such as forest career opportunities, business development opportunities, forestry safety and training opportunities.

On the final day of the conference, presentations and discussions focused on First Nations industry partnerships. Panels were focused on First Nations’ forestry initiatives, and First Nations – industry partnership success stories.

Chief Bill Williams, President of FNFC, stated: “We were pleased to see the strong BC First Nations representation in attendance and on stage. We are talking about our forest lands and resources, that we have a right to, that includes decisions regarding these resources, and access to benefits derived from the forest lands and resources within our territories. This was a conference focused on changes needed and opportunities to work together.”

The FNFC wishes to thank all the conference sponsors, presenters and those who participated over the three days, contributing to a very successful first annual conference.

 

More media enquiries, please contact:

Michael Robach

Communications Manager, BC First Nations Forestry Council

Phone:  778-939-4184

Email:  michael@forestrycouncil.ca

The FNFC is an advocacy organization that works to support Nations in efforts to increase their role in the governance of forest lands and resources, and participation in the forest sector. We do not represent the Nations, nor are we a consultatory body.

 

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Membership

By becoming a free member of the BC First Nations Forestry Council, you can gain access to all of our tools and resources. These have been developed collaboratively with industry partners, the Province, and using direct input from Indigenous communities across BC.

Visit our membership page to find out more.