The Tsilhqot’in National Government (TNG) will be opening eight recreation sites within its title area for the enjoyment of all visitors as it moves forward with transitioning Tsilhqot’in title lands from Provincial management to Tsilhqot’in management and control.
“The Xeni Gwet’in area is one of the most pristine, unique and ecologically diverse places in Canada,” said Chief Roger William, Xeni Gwet’in First Nation and Vice Chair of the Tsilhqot’in National Government as the TNG made the announcement Wednesday. “We want to share this experience with the rest of B.C., Canada and the world. We have authorized eight recreation sites to be open to the public while asking that our laws and protocols be respected. Our elders and people fought for our lands to be recognized as our own. Now that we have this, we want to ensure it is shared in a sustainable and respectful manner – a manner that our ancestors would be proud of.”
Six of the eight recreation sites will continue to be managed by Xeni Gwet’in, caretaker of the title area, as they have been over the past 10 years.
Visitors are asked to respect Tsilhqot’in laws, namely the Nemiah Declaration, while within Tsilhqot’in Title land.
The following recreation sites will be open to the public from April 1 to November 30, 2015, and receive regular maintenance between May 15, 2015 and October 1, 2015: Chaunigan Lake Recreation Site, Chilko-Taseko Junction Recreation Site, Choelquoit Lake Recreation Site, Cochin Lake Recreation Site, Vedan Lake North Recreation Site, Tsuniah Lake Bay Recreation Site, Tatlayoko Lake Northeast Recreation Site and Big Lake Recreation Site.
Through a joint effort between the Ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations and Tsilhqot’in National Government, information signs marking entry points to the title area will soon be erected to assist with orientation.
The Supreme Court of Canada granted Aboriginal title to the Tsilhqot’in Nation on June 26, 2014.
“Aboriginal title includes the right to exclusive use and occupation of the land, the right to the economic benefits of the land, and the ability to determine how the land is used,” the press release noted. “The Province and Tsilhqot’in Nation continue to work together to implement the Tsilhqot’in Nation judgment.”