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The Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Environment and Climate Change Canada begin next step to make decisions together for Disposal at Sea

Press Release

From: Environment and Climate Change Canada

News release

May 30, 2022

The Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Environment and Climate Change Canada have reached a landmark, first-of-its-kind agreement to co-manage the Burrard Inlet under ECCC’s Disposal at Sea Program. Representatives of Environment and Climate Change Canada and Tsleil‑Waututh Nation met at Whey-ah-Wichen/Cates Park in North Vancouver for a celebration and a traditional Tsleil-Waututh ceremony to recognize the progress made to date.

The disposal of any substance into the sea, even on the seabed, is not allowed unless a permit is issued. Only a small list of waste or other matter can be considered for disposal. Under the agreement between the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Tsleil-Waututh Nation’s Treaty, Lands, and Resources Department and ECCC will work together to assess risks of disposal at sea applications. To support this important work, ECCC will provide a total of $500,000 in funds over the next five years.

This agreement recognizes the Tsleil-Waututh Nation’s essential role as a partner with Canada in monitoring, protecting, and restoring the health of the Burrard Inlet and its long stewardship over the land. While Canada prevents pollution in oceans with initiatives such as the Disposal at Sea Program under its Canadian Environmental Protection Act, in Tsleil-Waututh law, the Tsleil-Waututh Nation has an obligation to protect the health of its lands and waters, which include the Burrard Inlet in the greater Vancouver region.

This important step on the path to reconciliation will ensure that disposal at sea in the Burrard Inlet is informed by Tsleil-Waututh science and deep knowledge of their traditional lands and waters. It will help to ensure the Burrard Inlet and its critical ecosystem are managed sustainably, safeguarding the health of local communities, and of the watershed, for generations to come.

Quotes

“I want to acknowledge the commitment and vision of the members of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and celebrate the implementation of this first-of-its-kind agreement to co-manage disposal at sea applications in the Burrard Inlet. This is a significant step in strengthening our partnership with the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and supports common efforts to protect ecosystems. We are partnering with Indigenous communities to better understand how we can sustainably and responsibly manage our lands and waters.”

– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“Tsleil-Waututh Nation are People of the Inlet, and have a sacred obligation to care for the lands and waters that we have lived in and stewarded since time out of mind. Tsleil-Waututh Nation is proud to celebrate the Agreement on Collaborative Decision Making Regarding Disposal at Sea and the collaborative work we’ve accomplished to get to this point. Our Tsleil Waututh people work diligently to protect the lands and waters to restore the health of the Burrard Inlet, because when the lands and waters are healthy, our people are healthy.”
– Chief Jen Thomas, Tsleil-Waututh Nation

Quick facts

  • On September 4, 2017, Canada and Tsleil-Waututh Nation signed a Letter of Understanding committing to renew and strengthen the nation-to-nation relationship. A key priority for discussion was environmental assessment and stewardship.
  • On October 12, 2018, Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Tsleil-Waututh Nation entered into the Agreement on Collaborative Decision Making Regarding Disposal at Sea.

Related products

Associated links

Contacts

Kaitlin Power
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
819-230-1557
[email protected]

Tsleil-Waututh Nation Communications
604-404-9070
[email protected]

Tsleil-Waututh Nation

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)
[email protected]

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