B.C signs historic agreement with Squamish First Nation. New economic control over resources for Indigenous People
A historic agreement between the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Líl̓wat Nations, the Province, the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) and Whistler Blackcomb creates new opportunities for economic development, reflecting B.C.’s commitment to reconciliation.
“After many years of negotiations and a lot of work on the part of the Squamish and Líl̓wat Nations, the Province, Resort Municipality of Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb, I am excited to see this agreement finalized,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “This step empowers the community to move forward with its partners on planning the future of Whistler, one of B.C.’s cherished resort destinations.”
The agreement signed earlier this month provides a framework for establishing stronger government-to-government relations and a co-operative relationship between partners in the spirit of reconciliation.
As part of the agreement, changes have been made to remove ministerial approval from the municipality’s official community planning process, making it consistent with local governments across British Columbia. This means the community has clearer processes to guide future planning that will allow it to reflect the goals and vision of the community, while addressing its anticipated needs.
“The Líl̓wat Nation is pleased to support the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s Official Community Plan and looks forward to continued consultation on future amendments,” said Ku̓kwpi7 Skalúlmecw Political Chief Dean Nelson. “Our support comes after many years of engagement and discussions. The cornerstone of this approval is the continued commitment to relationship building and creating opportunities for Líl̓wat within their traditional territory.”
The signed framework includes development opportunities for the Nations, including a land exchange between the Nations and the RMOW, and potential collaborations on employee housing. The combined efforts of all parties established a solid foundation for future planning, land use and economic development that meets the needs and interests of the Whistler area.
“The signing of this agreement represents a significant milestone in the strengthening of relationships between the Skwxwú7mesh Nation, Líl̓wat Nation, the Resort Municipality of Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb,” said Syeta’xtn (Chris Lewis), Skwxwú7mesh Nation Councillor and Spokesperson. “We look forward to moving forward together in the spirit of reconciliation, creating meaningful opportunities for the original inhabitants of these lands that benefit all those involved.”
The Framework Agreement was signed by all partners as of June 15, 2020. For more information, contact any one of the signatories.