As a direct result of the Public Forum the North Peace Rod and Gun Club held back in March, 2016, MLA Pat Pimm has formally organized a group of stakeholders from the North and South Peace into a MLA’s First Nations Stakeholder Advisory Committee. The North Peace Rod and Gun Club and the BC Wildlife Federation have representation on the committee. The committee has met three times to date. The following is Pat Pimm’s press release describing the committee and it’s purpose:
For Immediate Release
July 6th, 2016
MLA First Nations Stakeholder Advisory Committee
This note is to inform Northeast BC residents that myself and Mike Bernier the MLA from Peace River South are in the process of organizing a group of local stakeholders and finalizing the committee membership to look at, comment on and make recommendations on some parcels of Crown land that has been set aside by Government that could possibly be involved in future Government to government discussions between the BC government and Treaty 8 First Nations.
In keeping with section 35 of the Constitution and previous direction from the Supreme Court of Canada, the Government of British Columbia is continuing to work with First Nations across the province to identify lands through the treaty process or other potential avenues to try to foster long term reconciliation and certainty on the land base.
In the Northeastern part of British Columbia, we also have Site C that is presently under construction and could also see some lands being transferred to First Nations as an accommodation result of for some of their traditional territory.
The purpose of this committee is to bring representatives from the Peace River region including the local MLA’s, Regional Provincial Ministry managers, former provincial ministry mangers, regional residents, local BCWF reps, local trappers associations reps, local guide and outfitter representatives, local grain growers representatives, local cattlemen representatives, local winter and summer recreational and back country representatives together in one venue to review Crown land parcels that have been identified as possible future land transfers.
This committee will facilitate timely information exchange to ensure accurate information regarding the proposed Crown land parcels, in particular regards of transparency, maintaining access for all as much as possible, and making sure that all other pertinent questions are being asked and relayed to the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation prior to negotiations happening.
This committee is also being formed to provide a forum for stakeholders and community representatives to discuss and address local interests, enquiries and concerns in a timely and cooperative manner and receive feedback from such input, and to ensure that all stakeholder and public interests are being identified and acknowledged in these discussions.
We have had several meetings and worked through our Terms of reference and have also identified how we will be moving forward in the very near future. We will be keeping the public informed as we move forward and make recommendations. We will also be doing a final report and present that to the Ministry. We will be doing press releases from time to time and will be posting all of our material to my MLA website.
Pat Pimm, MLA – Peace River North