Two First Nations say they’re “shutting down” public access to B.C.’s Joffre Lakes Park for more than a month to allow for harvest celebrations.
The Lil’wat and N’Quatqua First Nations say they’re asserting their title and rights to shared unceded territory to take time to harvest and gather resources.
They say the park will reopen on National Truth and Reconciliation Day on Sept. 30.
In a statement, the nations say the decision is supported by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and a Supreme Court of Canada ruling that said First Nations’ consent is required to use its lands and resources.
The statement dated Wednesday (Aug. 23) says the goal is to “ensure our well-being for our future” and asks people to honour the decision.
The B.C. Parks website says that due to “unanticipated circumstances,” the park is currently inaccessible to the general public and that day-use pass and reservation holders have been contacted directly.
The Canadian Press