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Dr. Charlene Higgins: B.C. First Nations in forestry: What does commitment from government really mean? – Vancouver Sun

Opinion: It means meaningful and sustained engagement with First Nations on forest legislation and policy that impacts directly on First Nations business to survive and thrive in the forest sector economy.

Oct 22, 2020

The B.C. government has been engaging with First Nations for years to discuss forest revenue-sharing models and policies, meaningful approaches to consultation to respect Aboriginal title and rights, tenure reform, and policy changes needed to reallocate volume to increase their participation in the forest sector. But very little has changed to reflect input received from the First Nations themselves.

The majority of tenure is still under the control of the few major players, and the province continues to offer most First Nations “take it or leave it” agreements (forest consultation and revenue-sharing agreements) that share a minimal percentage (four to six per cent) of stumpage revenues. In some cases, these agreements provide First Nations with as little as $35,000 as accommodation for impacts on Aboriginal interests from forest-related land and resources decisions in their territories.

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