Lake Babine Nation (LBN) has signed a collaborative agreement with the provincial government that allows the two parties to work together on assessments for environmental projects.
The agreement describers how the Nation, located in Burns Lake, will collaborate with the Environmental Assessment Office on projects that fall within the nation’s territory.
“This collaboration agreement is an important first step in restoring our nation’s stewardship role for our yintah [our territory and all the natural resources it sustains] in relation to major development projects,” said LBN Chief Murphy Abraham in a government release.
“Lake Babine Nation looks forward to building a strong working relationship with the Environmental Assessment Office in assessing projects and to helping ensure that new projects in our yintah will be sustainable, a responsibility that we inherited from our ancestors and that we owe to all our future generations.”
The collaboration agreement is the first to be signed under Section 41 of the Environmental Assessment Act, and establishes a precedent for the province for shared decision-making in the future. It provides a united direction on how to work productively with LBN, and identifies the nation’s criteria for making decisions on projects.
The agreement marks the completion of a key step toward a consent agreement, which is part of the Lake Babine Nation Foundation Agreement reached between LBN, the province and the Federal Government in Sept. 2020. This will make it so that the nation’s consent is required for the completion of certain projects.
“This is an important and significant step on our reconciliation journey with the people of LBN. The first of its kind under this recent legislation, this agreement establishes a key shared decision-making precedent between the province and LBN moving forward, and ensures that Indigenous knowledge and values will be applied in full collaboration with the nation,” said Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman.
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