The Shuswap Band wishes to establish a relationship of collaboration with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD).
At its March 17 meeting, the CSRD board received a letter from Lorena Tegart, director of territorial operations for the band, whose office is located in Invermere.
Tegart explained the regional district encompasses lands and major municipalities (including Revelstoke and Golden) within the band’s “Traditional Territory and core area of Caretaker responsibility.”
As the ongoing stewards of this land, Tegart continued, the band is seeking to establish a relationship with the CSRD, and collaborate on decisions regarding the management of the district.
Tegart noted the federal and provincial governments have committed to engaging in free, prior and informed consent which respects the rights and interests asserted by Indigenous communities, and that the band expects to be engaged in a collaborative manner on all decisions and efforts related to the management of lands and resources in its caretaker area.
“Therefore, the Shuswap Band looks forward to engaging with the CSRD on the path to reconciliation and co-management of the lands within our caretaker area,” said Tegart.
Included with Tegart’s letter was a proposed Memorandum of Understanding for the two local governments.
CSRD administrator Charles Hamilton said he wasn’t sure what the impetus was behind the letter and more information needs to be gathered so staff can inform the board what steps need to be taken. The board supported a recommendation that staff contact the band report back at a future board meeting.
“The band in Invermere has very strong connections – they’re the eastern end of the Secwépemc Nation and there are very strong ties to this community… It would be good to have some more information and if we’re able to open up the lines of communication, I think that would be a great thing,” said Electoral Area E Director Rhona Martin.
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