The Tsilhqot’in National Government (TNG) Vice-Chair Chief Roger William and Cariboo Regional District Chair Al Richmond, along with fourteen elected officials representing both governments, met with staff for a Community to Community forum to discover ways for the two governments to work and succeed together on Monday.
“There are many different layers to each government working within the Cariboo Chilcotin region,” states William.
“Being knowledgeable of our histories, mandates, and practices is necessary for each organization to function appropriately. The recognition of Aboriginal title within the region has demonstrated the increasing need for cooperation and collaboration between all levels of government.”
The TNG presented to the CRD background information surrounding the declared Aboriginal title area and the ongoing negotiations with the Province of British Columbia.
“I cannot stress enough the importance of our governments and people working together to find benefits for all residents of the Cariboo Chilcotin,” says Richmond.
“We will continue working together to identify areas of common interest and improve on past performances while gaining a better understanding of our cultures and governance models; this is what building communities together is all about.”
The Regional District provided a general overview of the CRD structure, mandate, and governance. More detailed information about the services currently provided within the declared Aboriginal title area including land-use planning, landfills, invasive plant management, emergency services, and economic development was also discussed.
In the immediate future, the two governments will continue to identify opportunities to share or grow services.
Both governments plan to work closely in collaboration on communications, land-use planning, workshops, economic development, and emergency planning.
Another meeting between the TNG and the CRD is planned to occur within the Spring of 2016.