Truth Precedes Reconciliation

Parts 1;1 and 2.1 from The Islands Trust Object:  Past, Present, and Future
Policy Statement Amendment Project  Discussion Paper
March 2021 Trust Council Meeting   This discussion paper, prepared by Trust Area Services, and reviewed by Trust Programs Committee on February 5, 2021, is meant to inform the March 2021 full-day Trust Council session on the Islands 2050 Policy Statement Amendment Project.

Original available pages 11 - 50 of Trust Council agenda package at: 

http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/media/351065/tc_2021_03_09-11_agd_pkg_fina...

 

1.1 TRUTH PRECEDES RECONCILIATION

We all have to recognize that we are part of a heritage and ongoing reality of colonialism.

Whether we have benefited from it or whether we have been victimized by it, we have to

understand how we have been impacted by this dominant system. Oftentimes, we have

been influenced to such an extent that we often don’t even know that we’re discriminating

or being discriminated against. We must question what we’ve been taught and explore the

possibilities of how things should be in the future.1

- Senator Murray Sinclair, Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC)

 

No Acknowledgment of Place

When contemplating Policy Statement amendments through the lens of Reconciliation, it is important to acknowledge that First Nations have been excluded from legislative debates, policy and planning dialogues and cooperative partnerships throughout most of the history of the Islands Trust. The area in which the Islands Trust has existed as a jurisdictional body since 1974 is located within the treaty and territorial areas of the BOḰEĆEN, Cowichan Tribes, Halalt, Xwémalhkwu, K’ómoks, Klahoose, Ts'uubaa-asatx, Lək̓ ʷəŋən (SXIMEȽEȽ, Songhees, T’Sou-ke), Lyackson, MÁLEXEȽ, Penelakut, Qualicum, Scia’new, səli̓ lwətaʔɬ, SEMYOME, shíshálh, Snaw-naw-as, Snuneymuxw, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, SȾÁUTW̱, Stz’uminus, Tla’amin, scəẃaθən məsteyəxʷ, We Wai Kai, Wei Wai Kum, W̱ JOȽEȽP, W̱ SIḴEM, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (the First Nations). Yet, there is no evidence in Hansard Reports, policy papers, or academic reviews that First Nations were ever part of the dialogue on the formation or boundaries of the Islands Trust Area.

 

Missing from the Trust Object

The Object of the Trust has never specifically named Indigenous Peoples or First Nations as agencies to cooperate or coordinate with, despite the fact that the Trust makes land use decisions within First Nations’ treaty and territorial lands and waters:

 

It is the object of the trust to preserve and protect, in co-operation with municipalities and the Government of the Province, the trust area and its unique amenities and environment for the benefit of the residents of the trust area and of the Province generally. (Islands Trust Act, 1974)

 

The object of the Trust is to preserve and protect the Trust Area and its unique amenities and environment for the benefit of the residents of the Trust Area and of British Columbia generally, in cooperation with municipalities, regional districts, improvement districts, other persons and organizations and the government of British Columbia. (Islands Trust Act, 2018)

 

Objectives of the Islands Trust Council would be to request First Nations be added to the object of the Trust after the words “for the benefit of the residents of the Trust Area, Indigenous Peoples, and of British Columbia generally, in cooperation with First Nations governments, municipalities…”.

 

Missing from History

The history of the Islands Trust Area and the colonization of the Gulf Islands is one of violence and erasure. It is important to understand that the history of the Islands Trust Area did not begin at the time of colonization in the 1880s; neither did it begin at the formation of the Islands Trust in 1974. The historical legislative policies and conceptualization of the Gulf Islands never acknowledged or recognized that the area had been home to Indigenous Peoples since time immemorial. The beauty and “unique amenities” of the Gulf Islands are the very reasons why the area was home to Indigenous Peoples for thousands of years, and are reflected in the telling of

First Nations’ creation stories, relationship to the lands and waters, and stewardship of those lands and waters for future generations.

 

1 Globe and Mail: For Senator Murray Sinclair, leadership is defined by humility, Jan 24, 2021

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It should be underscored that the Islands Trust Area was, and still is, the location of permanent village sites with   homes, longhouses, cultivated gathering areas for harvesting, clam gardens, and cultural sites. This occupation, over thousands of years, lay the foundations for the unique environment and amenities of the islands as we know them today. The Salish Sea Basin had one of the highest pre-contact population densities in North America, and has the earliest physical evidence of human seafaring and island occupation in the Americas. At this time, there are approximately 28,000 Coast Salish peoples living in and around the Islands Trust Area and 56,000 in the Coast Salish transboundary region. The climate and resources located in the Islands Trust Area were ideal for large village sites, evidenced by extensive scientific reviews of middens and archaeological sites in the area and oral history told by Cultural Knowledge Holders and Elders.

 

In a recent First Nations engagement meeting with Islands Trust staff, an Elder mentioned how longhouses on islands were burned to the ground and how the posts in the ground were cut to erase all evidence that the longhouse had even existed. The concept that these lands and waters had not been occupied and were free for the taking arose as residential schools were being built and the reserve system was enacted to segregate First Nations peoples away from their homelands so that they could be settled by non-Indigenous populations. From 1974 to current day times, there has been very little historical reference or acknowledgement of the longstanding presence of First Nations in the lands and waters of the Islands Trust Area.

 

Terra Nullius

For the settler communities who were colonizing the Islands Trust Area, the mentality of the day was one of “taming” the lands, and claiming lands through philosophical frameworks of Doctrine of Discovery2 and terra nullius3. Beginning in 1875, the area was subject to The Gradual Civilization Act. The Act supported the concepts of private land ownership through the forced removal of First Peoples from the islands to reserves, away from locations deemed desirable for European settlement. As well, the Act ensured Indigenous Peoples did not have voting rights or citizenship rights to their own lands and waters. Further oppressive legislation restricted Indigenous Peoples to the reserve, did not allow them to gather in groups larger than three people, and denied them the ability to buy or hold land or hire legal representation. The Gradual Civilization Act was just one of the many oppressive legislative tools that facilitated the genocide of Indigenous Peoples, their homelands, their language, culture, and governance and family structures in the formation of Canada and the Islands Trust Area.

 

Residential Schools

The Islands Trust Area was the location of the Kuper Island Indian Residential School from 1889 to 1975, a place where cultural genocide occurred with the forced removal of children as young as five years old from the surrounding communities of Beecher Bay, Burrard, Chehalis, Chemainus / Chemainus Bay, Chilliwack, Clemclem / Clemclemluts, Cole Bay, Comeaken / Comiaken, Comox, Cowichan, Equimalt, Galiano, Khenipsen / Ghenipsen, Halelt / Halalt, Katzie, Koksilah, Kuleets, Kwaw Kwaw A Plit, Ladysmith, Langley, Lyackson, Malahat, Musqueam, Nanoose, Patricia Bay, Pauquachin, Penelakut, Qualicum, Quamichan, Saanich, Siccamen, Skawahlook / Skawollock, Skwah, Somenos, Songhees, Sooke, Squamish, Tsartlip, and Tsawout4.

 

2 UNDRIP para. 4: all doctrines, policies and practices based on advocating superiority of peoples or individuals on the basis of national origin or racial, religious, ethnic or cultural differences

3 Oxford Reference: land that is unoccupied or uninhabited for legal purposes. The application of English law to overseas possessions distinguished between settled colonies 

4 National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

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The school earned the name “Alcatraz” for its remote location on the small island. Right from its founding by the Catholic Church, the scale of suffering at Kuper Island was beyond the pale . . . Even school officials described Kuper Island as “ruinous” and “insanitary (sic),” with the school’s notoriously poor conditions exacerbating outbreaks of typhus, smallpox and tuberculosis.

- National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

 

10,000 Years of Knowing

At the time of the formation of the Islands Trust in 1974, the government of the day recognized the importance of the unique “amenities” of the lands and waters. There was understanding that the environment of the area was fragile and could be greatly impacted by development and resource extraction or overuse. However, it was not acknowledged or understood that this unique environment was the result of thousands of years of active cultivation and stewardship by Indigenous Peoples. Hence, the government failed to consider Indigenous Knowledge of the lands and waters of the Salish Sea, the “10,000 years of knowing” (a term stated by Chief Leah George-Wilson of the Tsleil-waututh Nation), in the formation of policies and legislation that directly impacted First Peoples’ homelands in the Islands Trust Area.

 

Throughout its forty-seven years of preserving and protecting the Trust Area the Islands Trust has consistently failed to recognize or acknowledge resource gathering areas, spiritual places, medicinal plant areas, and culturally significant species. The Islands Trust has managed the Islands Trust Area with a disconnected, single-species view of the ecological landscape versus a relational, interconnected acknowledgement of what truly makes the Islands Trust Area unique. Indigenous ways of knowing are not only important to reconciliation efforts, but also to the effective stewardship of these lands and waters.

 

Double Standards

Despite the fact that, in the formation of the Islands Trust, it was recognized that rapid population growth and development could greatly impact the communities that had  established themselves on the islands and that quality of life should be sustainable and minimize negative effects5; it was never considered that the areas in question had been subject to the forced removal of Indigenous children to the horrors of residential school and the forced removal of their parents to reserves far from the growing populations of settlers. Efforts to protect the well-being of constituents in Trust Area communities were not equally exerted to protect the well-being of the First Peoples who were no longer residents of the islands due to their forced removal.

 

Failure to Protect Cultural Heritage

Cultural heritage sites and features, and ancestral loved ones, remain throughout these islands from which First Nations have been forcibly removed. This cultural heritage, and the ancestral loved ones, have been desecrated, destroyed, and impacted as settler communities built on top of First Nation village sites, and extracted resources from culturally significant areas. With the enactment of the Islands Trust Act in 1974, the Islands Trust became the planning body that determined the impacts to cultural heritage sites and ancestral loved ones via its land and water use decisions. From its earliest version the Islands Trust Act acknowledged the importance of preserving and protecting cultural heritage. In 1974, it stated under s. 3(2)(d) that the Islands Trust was to “locate and identify archaeological and historical sites within the trust area” and under s. 3(2)(a) “make recommendations . . . for the preservation and protection of the trust area and its unique amenities and environment”. The Gabriola Island Community plan of 1978 acknowledged the “fragile nature of the environment” and the “special natural and archaeological areas” of the island.

 

5 BC Round Table on Environmental and Economy, and the Commission on Resources and Environment 1990-1994

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It is therefore surprising to find no evidence to suggest that Islands Trust Council, or local trust committees, ever

undertook to locate and identify the archaeological areas, or to preserve and protect the ancestral loved ones’

resting places and cultural heritage such as fish weirs, clam gardens, artifacts, burial cairns, petroglyphs, or

middens that exist extensively on all islands within the Islands Trust Area. However, in 1984, the Islands Trust

did document and identify the settler heritage buildings in the Islands Trust Area in an extensive publication.6

 

In 1992, the Islands Trust encapsulated the views of the public in a Summary Report on the Islands Trust Public Forums: These Islands of Ours . . . Framing Our Common Future. At the public forums, people listed “history and archaeological heritage” and “archaeological record” as key attributes they valued about the Trust Area. In 1994, the Islands Trust received more opportunities to cooperate and enter into new relationships with First Nations with treaty and territorial rights and title in the Islands Trust Area. Amendments were made to the Islands Trust Act that allowed the Islands Trust to enter into agreements with First Nations governments. In the 1994 legislative debates7, legislators sought to clarify section 20(1)(b): the opportunity for the Islands Trust to enter into agreements with First Nations. Debate included the ability for the Islands Trust to enter into “a separate or bilateral set of negotiations” with First Nations to build “a very good working relationship” related to “conflicts over aspects that are considered to be heritage” and statements that “this is not just a question of the preservation of site-specific artifacts” but to provide the Trust with “a significant amount of empowerment”. Debate further centred around the importance of First Nations heritage for the future, and how the preservation of sites in Haida Gwaii was an example of successful agreements. Unfortunately, despite this growing public consciousness and increased authority to preserve and protect First Nations’ cultural heritage and establish stronger, more collaborative relationships with First Nations in the Trust Area, the Trust continued its pattern of inaction.

 

In 1994, the Islands Trust was also granted new legislative authority through amendments to Bill 21 Heritage Conservation Statutes Amendment Act, 1994, changes to the Islands Trust Act, and changes to the Municipal Act. Amendments to the Islands Trust Act included new powers to engage in “activities to gain knowledge about the history and heritage of the trust area and to increase public awareness, understanding and appreciation of the history and heritage” and to “conserve heritage property”. Heritage property under the Municipal Act was defined as “property that in the opinion of a body or person authorized to exercise a power under this Act in relation to the property has sufficient heritage value or heritage character to justify it conservation, or is a protected heritage property”. Protected heritage property is defined as “protected under section 6(2) of the Heritage Conservation Act”.

 

The Heritage Conservation Act states that heritage property is protected and it is illegal to “damage, excavate, dig in or alter, or remove any heritage object from, a site that contains artifacts, features, materials or other physical evidence of human habitation or use before 1846”. The Islands Trust Area is within a historically rich and culturally abundant place of significant heritage value and properties. As noted above, the role and responsibility of the Trust was to recognize and protect the cultural heritage and historical significance of the area, which included the heritage of Indigenous Peoples. Land use decisions, bylaws, and official community plans should have been reflective of these new legislative powers to ensure the preservation and protection of significant sites such as Poets Cove, Grace Islet, and Harbour House to name just a few. The devastating impacts of the removal of ancestral loved ones from their resting places to institutions such as the Royal BC Museum, Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia, and the Museum of Civilization contributed to cultural genocide within the Islands Trust Area.

 

6 Islands Heritage Buildings: A Selection of Heritage Buildings in the Islands Trust Area 1984

7 Legislative Session: 3rd Session, 35th Parliament, Volume 17, No. 2 June 29, 1994

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Continued Legacy of Inaction

The history of the Islands Trust has unfortunately been one of complacent disregard for the history of Indigenous Peoples in the Trust Area and a lack of will to protect the collective heritage of the area for Indigenous Peoples, British Columbians, and Canada as a whole. Throughout the entire Trust Area, the destruction of archaeological sites, gravesites, cultural areas, and villages continues to this day. The history of cumulative impacts and destruction to the culture and historical understanding of area has been devastating to First Nations communities and their well-being, and has contributed to a general lack of trust in the role of Islands Trust. Despite the clear mandate to preserve and protect against development pressures in this fragile area, the Islands Trust has facilitated development on village sites that had existed for thousands of years, leading to the destruction of those areas and the unearthing of ancestral loved ones. This is especially tragic given that Indigenous Peoples were forcibly removed from the area and stripped of their ability to preserve and protect their own heritage through land use decision-making.

 

The formation of the Islands Trust in 1974 made it uniquely positioned to ensure the preservation and conservation of historical sites and archaeological areas for future generations of Indigenous Peoples and all British Columbians. As noted in legislative debates from 1974 to 1994, this had always been part of the rationale for the formation of the Islands Trust. Nonetheless, the Islands Trust has generally seemed to lack the will to compel other ministries and government agencies to prioritize the heritage of Indigenous Peoples, despite having the authority to do so, and despite being granted additional powers to work cooperatively with First Nations through amendments to the Heritage Conservation Act in 1994.

 

The Islands Trust did enter into protocol agreements with some First Nations after 1994; however, those agreements did not lead to additional protections or land use decision policies to protect the heritage of Nations or create collaborative relationships at a government-to-government level. The looting of ancestral remains and cultural artifacts has long been a known practice in the area, outlined in media articles in local newspapers, in meetings held with island communities, and in community conversations going back before the formation of the Islands Trust. Unfortunately, Islands Trust enforcement policies where not coordinated with other ministries or First Nations to address the looting of cultural artifacts or sites, and advocacy efforts have not been successful at curbing these unlawful activities that lead to the erasure of cultural heritage and desecration.

 

We end this section on the history and legacy of the Islands Trust Area with a quote from Chief Roland Wilson, West Moberly First Nation:

 

You can show Canada and the world that the only way to escape our colonial history of neglect and betrayal is to act boldly and honourably in the decisions that lie before us today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.1 RECONCILIATION

Current Context:

The Islands Trust has committed to reconciliation and to the guiding principles of reconciliation. Trust Council undertook this work with the passing of Policy 6.1.1 First Nations Engagement Principles in 2016, the unanimous passing of the Islands Trust Reconciliation Declaration in March 2019, and the Islands Trust Reconciliation Action Plan 2018-2022. Local Trust Committees also committed to the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples with the Reconciliation Standing Resolution to guide respectful relationships with First Nations governments at the local island level. Local Trust Committees of Galiano, Denman, Hornby, Salt Spring, North Pender, South Pender, Mayne, Thetis, Gambier, Gabriola, Lasqueti, and Ballenas-Winchelsea all passed the Reconciliation Standing Resolution.

Reconciliation work undertaken by the Islands Trust is guided by the foundation documents of the Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) Calls to Action, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA), and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) Calls for Justice (hereafter called the “foundation documents”). Staff as provincial employees are also guided by the Draft Principles that Guide the Province of BC’s Relationship with Indigenous Peoples (hereafter called “the principles”) and planning staff are also guided by the Canadian Institute of Planning policy statement “Planning Practice and Reconciliation” (“CIP planning principles”).

In 2018, the Islands Trust undertook to acknowledge the truth, history, and legacy of the Islands Trust Area and to begin meaningful engagement with First Nation governments and First Nation treaty associations in this work. Through engagement with Cultural Knowledge Holders and Elders, the Islands Trust began a comprehensive review of policy documents, processes, and training of staff and elected officials. The Islands Trust sought to provide training to staff and elected officials based on the guiding principles of the foundation documents, the principles, and the CIP planning principles. The Islands Trust also sought guidance and review of their processes from Hereditary Chief Bill Williams (Squamish), residential school survivors Bill Adsit (Tahltan) and Eugene Harry (Malahat), and Holocaust descendant Rima Wilkes (UBC Sociology).

From 2019 to 2021, the Islands Trust provided capacity funding to First Nation governments and First Nation treaty associations to review and engage on the Policy Statement amendment process. The Islands Trust also began dialogue with other ministries and agencies to collaboratively work together to fulfil the co-collaborative Object of the Trust and support the work of reconciliation in the Trust Area.

Trust Programs Committee (TPC) Working Group on Reconciliation:

Trust Programs Committee formed a Working Group on Reconciliation consisting of one Indigenous staff person and four non-Indigenous elected trustees. The Working Group reflected on the history and legacy of the Trust Area and how the Policy Statement could be reviewed and amended. The Working Group acknowledged that the Policy Statement contains offensive historical language that does acknowledge the treaty and territorial areas of First Nation governments. The Working Group reviewed the engagement process undertaken by the Trust in relation to the Policy Statement to ensure that it was meaningful and respectful of a government-to-government dialogue. Throughout this work, the Reconciliation working group members have looked to the guiding principles set out in the foundation documents.

The working group advocates for amendments to be reflective of key concerns raised during engagement with First Nations including:

 acknowledgement of treaty and territorial lands and waters;

 preservation and protection of cultural heritage and sacred sites;

 information sharing and interagency cooperation;

 collaborative decision-making and engagement processes;

 ensuring the inherent right to harvesting and gathering;

 marine shoreline protection;

 protection of culturally significant species and ecosystems; and

 economic reconciliation.

 

First Nations Engagement on the Policy Statement Review

 

Islands Trust staff and elected trustees have engaged with First Nations Chiefs, councils, staff, Elders, and Cultural Knowledge Holders as part of the Policy Statement engagement process. To date Islands Trust has engaged with:

 

 

First Nations Governments:

BOḰEĆEN (Pauquachin) First Nation

Cowichan Tribes

Halalt First Nation

K’ómoks (Comox) First Nation

MÁLEXEȽ (Malahat) Nation

Penelakut Tribe

shíshálh (Sechelt) First Nation

Snuneymuxw (Nanaimo) First Nation

Sḵwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nation

Tla’amin (Sliammon) Nation

səlilwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-waututh) Nation

 

Community Members:

Hereditary Chief Bill Williams (Sḵwxwú7mesh)

Harold Joe (Cowichan Tribes)

Elder August Sylvester (Penelakut)

Eugene Harry (MÁLEXEȽ)

 

 

Treaty and Tribal Alliances:

Cowichan Tribal Alliance

   Cowichan Tribes

   Stz’uminus (Chemainus) First Nation

   Halalt First Nation

   Penelakut Tribe

   Lyackson First Nation

Naut’sa mawt Tribal Council (NmTC)

   Halalt First Nation  

   Xwémalhkwu (Homalco) First Nation

   Klahoose First Nation

   K’ómoks (Comox) First Nation

   MÁLEXEȽ (Malahat) Nation

   Tla’amin (Sliammon) Nation

   Snaw-naw-as (Nanoose) First Nation

   Stz’uminus (Chemainus) First Nation

   scəẃaθən məsteyəxʷ (Tsawwassen)

   səlilwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-waututh) Nation

   T’Sou-ke Nation

W̱ SÁNEĆ Leadership Council Society

   W̱ JOȽEȽP (Tsartlip) First Nation

   W̱ SIḴEM (Tseycum) First Nation

   SȾÁUTW̱ (Tsawout) First Nation

 

 

First Nations engagement is ongoing and capacity-funding engagement will continue until the end of March 2021. On-going engagement will continue throughout the amendment period.

 

Engagement Recommendations and Principles provided by First Nations during the Policy Statement Engagement Process

 

Overarching Principles

1 Acknowledgement of First Nations treaty and territorial areas within the Islands Trust Area;

2 Respect and acknowledgement of Indigenous rights and title as it relates to inherent rights, access, and stewardship of resources;

3 Respect for the government-to-government relationship that exists between First Nations governments and the Islands Trust;

4 Acknowledge of First Nations vital, long-standing and future-looking interest in the environment of their territories and treaty lands;

5 Working together to collaboratively build relationships based on mutual respect and interagency cooperation;

6 Share information and align policies and processes to the foundation documents;

7 That the Policy Statement operates within the inherent jurisdiction and governance structures of First Nations within the Islands Trust Area;

8 Land and water use decisions that impact First Nations interests cannot be the sole jurisdiction of local trust committees, and should be reviewed within the broader scope of the Islands Trust governance structure;

 

Environmental Principles

9 Ensure that climate change is recognized as a threat to environment, amenities, and the fragile ecosystem;

10 That Islands Trust move away from language such as “maintain” due to concerns related to how that is interpreted in regard to preserve and protect;

11 That terms such as stewardship be reflective of the role Indigenous Peoples have to actively steward their territorial areas;

12 Recognition that limitations must be determined since incremental growth, even green incremental growth, erodes the functionality of fragile and limited ecosystems and resources;

13 Islands Trust prioritize Indigenous land management regimes over Western-based management ideas;

14 Recognize that regulatory frameworks do not recognize impacts to sensitive species or culturally significant species, their cultural use, and cumulative impacts due to pollution, emissions, and development;

15 Agricultural land areas must not impact culturally significant species, areas, wetlands, or habitat, including impacts to cultural heritage and/or spiritual use;

16 Forest areas require archaeological impact assessments to ensure preservation and protection of cultural values, culturally significant species, and use;

17 Culturally significant species of vegetation, flora, and fauna must be conserved and protected, understanding the interrelationship between protected and healthy ecosystems and inherent rights to gather for well-being;

18 Foreshore areas must be preserved and protected to maintain access for shellfish harvesting, access and foraging;

19 Freshwater must be preserved and protected to ensure aquifers can support streams and wetland ecosystems;

20 Ecosystems that have been heavily impacted by development or industry must be restored and protected;

21 Study the impacts and create policies to address pollution and sewage impacts;

22 Official community plans must address the cumulative impacts to marine habitat from docks, anchorages, and seawalls;

 

Social Principles

23 Promote the well-being of Indigenous Peoples and their interests within the Islands Trust Area;

24 Recognize that community includes Indigenous Peoples;

25 That the islands and waters of the Islands Trust Area are integral to the health and well-being of First Nations with treaty and territorial areas within the Salish Sea;

26 Indigenous Peoples have an inherent right to gather, utilize, and manage their treaty and territorial lands and waters;

27 Indigenous Peoples have a right to express their culture, language, and spirituality within the Islands Trust Area;

28 Indigenous Peoples have a right to access cultural areas, culturally significant species/flora and fauna, and to care for and access ancestral loved ones resting places;

29 Islands Trust should advocate for policies and initiatives that eliminate the socio-economic gap between islanders, British Columbians in general and Indigenous Peoples;

30 Share information and collaborative work with First Nations governments to ensure land and water use decisions are reflective of their concerns;

31 Educate islanders and British Columbians about the history and legacy of the Islands Trust Area as it relates to First Peoples;

32 Islands Trust create appropriate land use planning tools to address First Nations economic development interests;

33 Ensuring consistency between planning bylaws and policies and First Nations land use plans, treaty agreements, and land use agreements with the Islands Trust Area;

 

Heritage and Cultural Principles

34 Recognize that “unique amenities” includes cultural heritage and protected heritage sites;

35 Re-establish pre-1995 heritage and cultural heritage/archaeological principles from past Policy Statements;

36 Include Indigenous place names and historical understanding in local trust committee areas signage and wayfinding, ecology and habitat areas;

37 Educate islanders and the general public on the illegality of damaging, looting, and possessing Indigenous cultural heritage and artefacts;

38 Ensure all agencies and ministries conform to heritage protection and conservation policies and principles as outlined by the Islands Trust and First Nations governments;

39 Develop Trust wide heritage preservation overlays to ensure the preservation and protection of cultural heritage, heritage buildings, and cultural sites.

 

Implementation Principles Related to Overarching Legislation

1 Enter into protocol agreements and management plans that address matters of mutual interest and concern;

2 Ensure that First Nations projects related to First Nations economic reconciliation are prioritized within the Islands Trust Area;

3 Develop a First Nations Advisory Committee on environmental and heritage preservation;

4 Ensure companies and business conducting ground work, archaeological assessments and monitoring within the Islands Trust Area are approved by First Nations governments and communities and uphold the foundation document principles in their operations;

 

Questions

1 Should house size or construction be restricted to reduce impacts on heritage sites?

2 Should seawalls be prohibited to preserve heritage foreshore?

3 Should Islands Trust reconciliation policies be implemented regionally versus at the local island level?

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