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(W̱JOȽEȽP Territory, B.C.) – W̱JOȽEȽP (Tsartlip First Nation) and BC Ferries have entered into an agreement to guide their work together and establish a framework for collaborating on areas of mutual interest.
The agreement is based on a recognition of W̱JOȽEȽP (Tsartlip)’s inherent aboriginal and treaty rights protected under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, including the North Saanich Douglas Treaty of 1852. The agreement also affirms the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as the framework for reconciliation between the two parties.
Currently, BC Ferries operates 11 terminals within W̱JOȽEȽP (Tsartlip)’s territory, and the agreement outlines shared goals, including the following initial topics for discussion:
Grounded in mutual respect and recognition, the agreement is intended to build lines of communication as well as identify and explore potential opportunities to work together collaboratively.
“This agreement signifies the acknowledgement of the impacts of BC Ferries’ activity in W̱JOȽEȽP Territory, on our land and waters, and our way of life. This is a significant first step in reconciliACTION and upholding UNDRIP and we’re excited to build a relationship that works to ensure those impacts are one that positively impact our community,” shares W̱JOȽEȽP/Tsartlip Chief Don Tom.
“We are honoured to reach this agreement with the Tsartlip First Nation to build a lasting relationship based on respect, cooperation and awareness,” said Jill Sharland, BC Ferries’ Interim President & CEO. “We are committed to working with Indigenous peoples along coastal British Columbia and we recognize the indigenous knowledge, cultures and traditions that enrich these beautiful lands and waters in which we operate.”
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