First Nations Coastal Management Pilot Workshop

In partnership with the Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group and the Sencot’en Alliance, with support from the Law Foundation and BC Studies, the Environmental Law Centre gathered representatives from over a dozen coastal First Nations along with industry, conservation and community groups for an intensive one-day workshop in November on the future of First Nations coastal resources management in light of the New Relationship.

Following a keynote speech by Robert Morales, Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group Chief Negotiator, workshop participants heard from former ELC Executive Director Chris Tollefson about the lessons emerging from New Zealand’s shellfish aquaculture experience. The morning concluded with presentations from a panel of First Nations representatives involved in shellfish aquaculture promotion and management.

Drawing from a background paper prepared by ELC student Tamara Olding, workshop participants spent the afternoon identifying priorities, exploring key strategic opportunities and discussing law and policy reforms essential to growing shellfish aquaculture in a manner consistent with the New Relationship partnership between the provincial Crown and BC First Nations.

A transcript and summary of the workshop proceedings will be broadly distributed throughout the province to various provincial ministries, First Nations organizations, local governments and community groups.

Feedback from participants was extraordinarily positive with many expressing hope that further collaboration and dialogue around these issues will continue:

  • Great communication/networking opportunity…communication is the key to relationships on any issue
  • We should have more workshops like this to add to the great work today
  • Workshop allowed for networking and sharing of current issues
  • Excellent framework for bringing people together- really liked discussion group
  • Very nicely done! What’s next?

View former ELC Executive Director Chris Tollefson’s presentation: Charting a Course: Indigenous Rights and Shellfish Aquaculture in New Zealand and BC based on a paper of the same name published in a special issue of BC Studies (Summer 2006) (PDF)

Read Shellfish Aquaculture and the New Relationship Workshop Background Paper by ELC student Tamara Olding (PDF)