Indigenous guardians play a vital role in creating and implementing land-use and marine-use plans, says the Government of Canada. (Rebecca Dyok photo)

Indigenous guardians play a vital role in creating and implementing land-use and marine-use plans, says the Government of Canada. (Rebecca Dyok photo)

Williams Lake First Nation to launch Indigenous guardian pilot program

Project chosen out of more than 100 proposals across Canada

They will be the eyes and ears on the ground.

Indigenous guardians will be coming to a First Nations community near Williams Lake.

Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN) is one of 10 communities across the country this summer to receive $60,000 in funding from the Government of Canada under the First Nations tier one stream of the Indigenous Guardians Pilot Program.

“We’re really just in the preliminary stages but we did receive a funding envelope, and we’re super excited to get started planning on what that is all going to look like,” said Whitney Spearing, WLFN manager of title and rights.

Read More: Tahltan Nation stands behind road access closures to keep hunters, non-locals out

Spearing will be overseeing the project that ‘intends to ensure community protocols are respected to provide environmental protection of fish and wildlife use, traditional use studies and knowledge transfer to monitor fire activity and build relationships with nearby First Nations.’

She hopes it will be launched by this fall.

Already part of the Indigenous Guardians Pilot Program after having received funding in previous years are the Tsilhqot’in National Government and Southern Dakelh Nation Alliance which consists of four nation members —Nazko, Lhtako Dene, Lhoosk’uz Dene and Ulkatcho.

Julia Flinton, also with WLFN’s title and rights department, is working with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources and Rural Development in regards to archaeological impacts resulting from range activities.

Spearing said she would like to have a full staff of 10 people and see the program become self-sustaining.

“I think that we can operate within the existing compliance and enforcement paradigm,” she said, noting she is anticipating guardians to be able to discuss any conflicts with the appropriate staff of the B.C. government.

“We want to have a presence but we don’t want that presence to be a negative presence.”

Read More: First Nation community signs enforcement agreement with Conservation Officer Service


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
rebecca.dyok@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

First NationsWilliams Lake

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tl’etinqox will be going into lockdown at 6 p.m. Jan 20 due to COVID-19. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
House parties, impending lockdown and loss; Tl’etinqox chief grapples with COVID-19 challenges

Tl’etinqox Government west of Williams Lake declared a state of emergency Jan. 18

Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson told city council Tuesday, Jan. 19, there have been no further cases of COVID-19 amongst the staff at Cariboo Memorial Hospital than the 10 nurses and two doctors who are off work.  (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Cariboo Chilcotin MLA expects health authority to declare COVID-19 cluster for region

Lorne Doerkson updates Williams Lake city council at committee of the whole meeting

(Tribune file photo)
Marie Sharpe and Nesika elementary latest schools to have COVID-19 exposures

School District 27 superintendent acknowledges hard work of Interior Health staff

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine to Ann Hicks, 77, in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-Pool
61 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

Twenty-nine people are in hospital, seven of whom are in intensive care

Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb gives a COVID-19 update through a Facebook post Tuesday, Jan. 19. (Facebook image)
Williams Lake mayor urges residents to follow protocols as city awaits COVID-19 numbers

Isolation ‘means not leaving your home or other accommodations’: Mayor Walt Cobb

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

Flags line the National Mall towards the Capitol Building as events get underway for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Joe Biden arrives at U.S. Capitol for inauguration

About 25,000 National Guard members have been dispatched to Washington

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A memorial for the fatal bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 near Tisdale, Tuesday, October 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards
‘End of the road:’ Truck driver in Humboldt Broncos crash awaits deportation decision

Sidhu was sentenced almost two years ago to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving

Cumberland photographer Sara Kemper recently took the top spot in a Canadian Geographic photography contest. Photo by Sara Kemper
B.C. photographer takes top Canadian Geographic photo prize

Sara Kemper shows what home means to her in Comox Valley photo

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

Most Read