Apportionment decision a step in the right direction: BC Assembly of First Nations
May 28, 2021 By BC Assembly of First Nations
The BC Assembly of First Nations sees the province of British Columbia’s decision to apportion nearly 15 per cent of the Prince George Timber Supply Area (PGTSA) to First Nations as a positive step forward for reconciliation.
“For too long, First Nations across BC have not benefitted from the wealth of our territories,” said Regional Chief Terry Teegee. “By making this decision, Minister Conroy is starting to set things right. We await these kinds of decisions for other Timber Supply Areas across the province so that all First Nations can benefit from forestry in their territories.”
The apportionment decision by B.C. divides up the volume of the annual allowable cut into various kinds of forest licenses. Up until this decision, First Nations in the region had almost no access to this volume. Province-wide, only about 10 per cent of all volume is held in First Nations replaceable and non-replaceable licenses.
“We have been on this land since time immemorial,” said Regional Chief Teegee. “When First Nations hold forest licenses, profits are reinvested in the communities where forestry operations happen, not in Europe or the southern United States. And as we begin to reclaim decision-making authority over our traditional territories, we can once again balance economic interests with our traditional, cultural, and stewardship values,” he added.
The BC Assembly of First Nations hopes that the next steps taken by the Province of BC will result in a more equitable distribution of access to forest resources.
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