The Stewardship Department handles various natural resource concerns for the Tŝilhqot’in. These include, but are not limited to, forest resource activity and mining, oil & gas exploration and development.
The Stewardship Department works closely with the Tŝilhqot’in Stewarship Council which plays an integral role in assisting with resource decisions at the Nation level. Also, the Stewardship Department’s Geographic Information System (GIS) Analysts provide a wide range of mapping services to the Tŝilhqot’in National Government and member communities. Information management of land-use with the Tŝilhqot’in territory is supported through the use of the Stewardship Planning Portal.
The Tŝilhqot’in Nation and Southern Dãkelh Nation Alliance (SDNA) are joining together to ban all Limited Entry Hunts (LEH) for moose within their respective territories in the interior of British Columbia. This collaboration comes in response to the dire state of declining moose populations in our territories and the lack of effective action by the Province of BC.
Despite the unprecedented 2017 wildfires, which have made struggling moose populations in the region even more vulnerable to hunters and predation, the BC Government continues to issue Limited Entry Hunt (LEH) permits for moose in our territories, contravening recommendations on wildlife management and without the consent of our Nations. As a result of the wildfires, thousands of access routes for hunters and predators have been created while high value habitat for moose has been drastically reduced.
The situation is so dire that many Tŝilhqot’in and Dãkelh citizens are deciding not to exercise their Aboriginal rights to hunt moose and going without this main source of food for the winter.
Building off a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Tŝilhqot’in Nation and SDNA, both Nations agree that this is about protecting our resources and Indigenous ways of life, not about boundaries.
As a necessary step for moose stewardship, the SDNA has decided to extend its moratorium on LEH moose hunt for the 2018 season.
At an Emergency Leadership Summit held on July 10, 2018, the Tŝilhqot’in leadership passed a motion by consensus to enact an interim moose protection law as an emergency measure. The Tŝilhqot’in law prohibits LEH hunting within the Tŝilhqot’in Territory. The Tŝilhqot’in law also confirms a ban on hunting cow moose by Tŝilhqot’in citizens or any other person.
The Tŝilhqot’in and SDNA will continue to work together and welcome other First Nations to join these efforts in the months to come. The Nations also ask all hunters to respect this ban on LEH hunting, allowing the moose populations the opportunity to thrive as they did decades ago.
Tŝilhqot’in Stewardship Agreement
On March 31, 2017 the Tŝilhqot’in Nation renewed an interim Strategic Engagement Agreement with the Province of BC, commonly referred to as the Tŝilhqot’in Stewardship Agreement (TSA), previously known as the Tŝilhqot’in Framework Agreement.
This agreement provides funding and capacity for the next three years to engage in resource decisions while protecting Tŝilhqot’in Rights and Title. This is a bridging document for the Nation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Tŝilhqotin Stewardship Agreement (TSA)?
This agreement between the provincial government and Nation was created because the Tŝilhqot’in Nation demanded more say in resource development. The TSA has created a clear process for communities to have input about proposed land use within their territory within a set amount of time. This agreement provides a formal process for community members to: share their opinions; ask for changes to possible uses of the land; and provide reasoning for recommended changes to proposed work plans.
What does the consultation process look like?
Example: A cut block is being proposed in an area that a Tŝilhqot’in family traditionally uses as a trap line. The family is worried that it will impact the wildlife in the area. Through the TSA process, this referral (proposed land use) is assigned to a referral worker at the TNG, who will work with the Tŝilhqot’in community and specific family to hear what the concerns are. Then, utilizing all the technical support that TNG has, a response with recommendations concerning what decision should be made will be submitted to the BC government to influence their final decision.
Where do recommendations on proposed uses of Tŝilhqot’in lands come from?
Through the TSA, there are many committees, councils and forums that bring together people who make recommendations. This increases accountability from both governments. See Figure 1 for some of the groups involved in making recommendations to the final decision make:
Stewardship Planning Portal
In 2007 the Stewardship Department of Tŝilhqot’in National Government developed an interactive land and resource “Stewardship Planning Portal”. The Stewardship Portal is a web-based, land-use information management and planning support system. Since 2007 this system has supported and simplified referral filing, review, tracking, and storage for more accessible retrieval and communication with land use proponents, over time. The map layers component makes the power of Geographic Information (GIS) accessible, and user friendly to assist with decision making.
The Portal functions as a repository of all information (spatial data, documents, photos, and communications) regarding referrals and other planning projects. All this information is accessible online and therefore available in any community with internet access. This reduces paper handling and data entry time. The robust permissions model limits access to confidential information.
The Portal is a significant step toward empowering Tŝilhqot’in communities to be directly involved in land and resource stewardship.
The TSC is a key initiative developed by the Tŝilhqot’in National Government and member communities to increase Tŝilhqot’in involvement in and influence on land and resource management in the Tŝilhqot’in Territory.
To research and report on revenue-sharing (e.g. Forest and Range Agreements/Opportunities) and develop a Tŝilhqot’in Stewardship Planning Framework.
The TSC does not take away or assume any of the decision-making authority of elected band councils or the Council of Chiefs.
Each community appoints up to two members through a Band Council Resolution. The term of membership is yet to be determined.
Improve communication between the TNG Stewardship Department and various government agencies, TNG Chiefs and Tŝilhqot’in communities;
Provide guidance to the Stewardship Department staff on how to address referrals and other land and resource management issues affecting their community; and
Develop land and resource management/stewardship policy recommendations for presentation to the Tŝilhqot’in Council of Chiefs and member community government.
A user account is needed to log into the Stewardship Portal. Click on the link below, download and complete the word document then email it to the portal administrator to receive access to the portal. A user must have a Fee For Service agreement in place prior to being registered.
1. Download Access Form
2. Email Completed Access Form as attachment to Portal Administrator
3. Portal Links: Portal Login