The Cariboo Regional District board began discussions during its committee of the whole meeting Thursday, Sept. 10 about the possible involvement of First Nations communities at the board table. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Cariboo Regional District to explore involvement of First Nation communities at board level

‘It’s great to get the discussion started early,’: CRD vice-chair John Massier

The Cariboo Regional District is exploring possible involvement of First Nation communities at the board table.

During the committee of the whole meeting Thursday, Sept. 10, the board discussed involving First Nations and directed staff to research the topic further.

Staff will also create a letter for the board’s approval that will go to all 15 First Nations in the region to communicate that intent.

Read more:Cariboo Regional District, municipalities, First Nations partnering to study regional labour market

CRD chief administrative officer John MacLean said there are some regional districts in B.C. that already have non-voting participation by First Nation communities at the board table.

“There are regional districts that have entered or completed the treaty process — Alberni Clayoquot Regional District would be a good example — where some First Nations communities have already exercised their right to participate at the board table,” MacLean said.

Vice-chair John Massier said he heard from the Northern Secwepemc te Quelmuc (NStQ) who saw the item was on the agenda for the meeting that it was a ‘great first step.’

“It’s a great to get the discussion started early,” Massier added, noting First Nations are already mandated under the treaty process to participate in regional hospital districts.

100 Mile House Mayor Mitch Campsall said it is important for the CRD to start planning for First Nations participation at the CRD board table.

Area E director Angie Delainey said the more transparent the CRD is with the process and involving more people, the better.

“It’s about asking ‘how you want to be involved?’ rather than ‘this is how you are going to be involved,’” she said.

Chair Margo Wagner told the board that Patrick Richmond with the Provincial Treaty Negotiations Team will attend the Oct. 23, 2020 meeting to give the board an update.

Read more: Cariboo Regional District board including UNDRIP information with each agenda

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