The shíshálh Nation’s swiya (which means world, birthplace, lands and territory) runs between Jervis Inlet and Salish Sea on the South Coast of British Columbia. Within the territory, there are forestry and aggregate mining operations, as well as popular tourism and recreation destinations.
The forest industry is the largest economic driver in the shíshálh territory, with estimated annual revenues of $24.8 million. But for many years, the shíshálh Nation had concerns about ongoing forestry activity in areas they designated as conservation zones. The Province, the Nation and local forestry companies began to work together to decide where harvesting can take place and make sure the shíshálh Nation benefits from the resources in their territory. This helped reduce conflict, maintain good jobs in the region, and create more predictability for Indigenous peoples and industry.
The work together also helped build a relationship that led to a landmark reconciliation agreement between the shíshálh Nation and the Province in 2018. This agreement recognizes and respects Aboriginal title and rights. It also begins new work together on shared decision-making and modernizing land use planning, which also involves local government, stakeholders and the public.
This work is helping to protect the environment, and promote predictability, economic opportunity and growth for the shíshálh Nation and the entire Sechelt region.