The B.C. government and the Tsilhqot’in National Government have signed a letter of intent (LOI) outlining the next steps for reconciliation discussions.
In a press release, Tribal Chairman Chief Joe Alphonse states:
“The next few months will allow the Nation to get a closer look at the economic opportunities on the River West site while further engaging our members and forming partnerships with the Province. A history of mistrust of BC is still very real for us – we are using this as a test of BC’s commitment to reconciliation.”
The LOI recognizes the need for immediate steps to continue to build trust, confidence, and commitment which includes: additional time for Tsilhqot’in community engagement, a detailed assessment of immediate economic opportunities, and expedited work to support moose recovery.
“B.C. and the Tsilhqot’in want to improve the quality of life for the Tsilhqot’in people as soon as possible – not in one or two generations,” said Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, John Rustad.
“The letter of intent we have signed is an important part of the work we are doing to help achieve that goal. It sets out the initial steps to demonstrate the practical results that can be achieved by working together.”
A joint working group comprised of representatives from the Tsilhqot’in Nation and senior staff from provincial ministries will be examining the potential of a restart of the River West Forest Products Mill and review options for supporting feasible business options on the site in the coming weeks.