Moderator: Aaron Marchant, Natural Resource Senior Specialist, Rights and Title, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish First Nation), and ICCE Technical Advisory Committee Member
Part 1 – Yecminte re Tmícw – Let’s Take Care of the Land!
Qwelmínte Secwépemc (QS) is a collective of leadership and technicians from eight Secwépemc communities working together with five BC Ministries to move forward via the QS Government-to-Government (G2G) table. The QS G2G table is founded on a “Walking on Two Legs” approach, meaning upholding both Western Laws/Science along with Secwépemc Laws as laid out in our oral histories and songs. Through this collective, QS and BC can continue to make sustained and substantive progress towards long-term reconciliation.
QS is currently working to transform forestry management within our Secwépemc territories. A first step towards this transformation is the development of the Collective Forestry Agreement (CFA), undertaken collaboratively with the BC government. Through these CFA negotiations, the QS signatories work to inform and influence BC policy, regulations, and legislation, bringing about the opportunity to implement collaborative initiatives. The CFA negotiations have also demonstrated a growing need for cumulative effects (CFX) work within the QS Collective Territory of Interest. The CFX work at the QS includes gathering and analyzing data in indicators on the landscape for a CFX analysis, currently titled “The Atlas” (final name to be determined soon).
In this session, we will provide a background and history of the Qwelmínte Secwépemc office, from where we began to where we are now. In addition, we will speak to the foundation of “The Atlas” and the CFA Negotiations, how our organization incorporates Secwépemc values and laws, lessons learned through our work, and how we can utilize “The Atlas” into the future.
Speakers: Ashton Ashley, Tmícw Research Assistant, Qwelmínte Secwépemc
Sophie Collins, Tmícw Technician, Qwelmínte Secwépemc, and ICCE Board Member
Part 2 – Restoring Indigenous Stewardship Through the Realm of Socioeconomic Cumulative Impact Assessment and Monitoring
A fulsome understanding of cumulative impacts extends to assessing the full range of socioeconomic and cultural effects associated with development. In the face of accelerating pressures from oil and gas, mining, and forestry activities, Indigenous communities increasingly are turning a lens to oversight of both the positive and negative impacts of development, both on their own and through initiatives such as the Trans Mountain Expansion – Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee. As it stands, the regulatory requirements and conditions for identifying, managing, monitoring, and responding to socioeconomic impacts, including community safety and security matters related to natural resource projects, are lacking. While legislative change(s) and regulatory adjustment(s) are key to addressing this gap, Indigenous communities are central to a more effective understanding and managing of socioeconomic concerns, including those related to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, & Two-Spirit (MMIWG2S) and Gender-based Violence. For instance, the cumulative impacts linked to an influx of large numbers of non-local workers into traditional territories, often called shadow populations, compounds the effects of a history of colonial rule and raises concerns for Indigenous communities regarding the safety of their members, including regarding their women and children. Building capacity at the Indigenous community level to participate directly in the identification of Indigenous socioeconomic indicators and subsequent monitoring is key to preventing or mitigating adverse impacts related to development. Socioeconomic risks must be defined by communities themselves to ensure that what matters most to them is protected, in alignment with their international and constitutionally protected Aboriginal and Treaty rights and central to the commitments made under the United Nations Declaration Act. Community-based monitoring supports Indigenous communities to enact self-government on their traditional lands, is essential to enhanced regulatory oversight, and is key to restoring integrity to activities associated with Indigenous stewardship.
Speaker: Tracy L. Friedel, President, Lac Ste. Anne Métis Community Association, Socioeconomic Subcommittee Chair, Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee-Trans Mountain Expansion (IAMC-TMX), and Affiliate Associate Professor, Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver