First Nations and non-First Nations leaders in the Cariboo Chilcotin met this week to explore ways the two governments can better work together for future success.
Tsilhqot’in National Government (TNG) Vice-Chair Chief Roger William and Cariboo Regional District Chair Al Richmond, along with fourteen elected officials representing both governments, met with staff Monday, Jan. 11 for a Community to Community forum.
“There are many different layers to each government working within the Cariboo Chilcotin region,” states TNG Vice-Chair Chief Roger William. “Being knowledgeable of our histories, mandates and practices is necessary for each organization to function appropriately. The recognition of Aboriginal title within the region has demonstrated the increasing need for cooperation and collaboration between all levels of government.”
The TNG presented background information surrounding the declared Aboriginal title area and the ongoing negotiations with the Province of British Columbia to the CRD.
“I cannot stress enough the importance of our governments and people working together to find benefits for all residents of the Cariboo Chilcotin,” says CRD Chair Al Richmond. “We will continue working together to identify areas of common interest and improve on past performances, while gaining a better understanding of our cultures and governance models; this is what building communities together is all about.”
In turn, the Regional District provided a general overview of the CRD; structure, mandate and governance. More detailed information about the services currently provided within the declared Aboriginal title area including land-use planning, landfills, invasive plant management, emergency services, and economic development was also discussed.
In the immediate future, the two governments committed to continue to identify opportunities to share or grow services. Both governments plan to work closely in collaboration on communications, land-use planning, workshops, economic development and emergency planning.
Another meeting between the TNG and the CRD is planned for the spring of 2016 to follow up on action items identified at this week’s meeting and to further define future objectives.