Column: Many questions on proposed park

Will the new proposed Chilcotin Tribal park create employment?

Will the new proposed Chilcotin Tribal park create employment?

Chief Roger William has claimed the Dasiqox  proposed tribal park will have sustainable economic development that is sensitive to our area.

I suspect mining is not sensitive to the park area that has Fish Lake in its boundaries.

It seems to me that this is the reason for the park — no mining, no New Prosperity that would provide many jobs. In my opinion tribal parks often arise as a result of industrial economic activities that are incompatible with First Nations’ values.

Some of the reasons for the Dasiqox park that contains 300,000 hectares of land is that it embraces Tsilhqot’in traditional practices of sustenance, supports development that is consistent with Tsilhqot’in values and that it will support sustainable livelihoods through community-driven processes and economic governance.

I have not seen any development in that area that would sustain First Nations people on a long-term basis.

I’m not sure that establishing cultural education camps will provide many dollars, however, if they truly do have an economic plan and put it into practice rather than just talk, it would benefit the area and First Nations.

Mayor Walt Cobb and Cariboo Regional District director Betty Anderson have some concerns with the tribal park and have sent letters to several ministers in both the federal and provincial governments opposing the park. The letter suggests that if the park proceeds it will further alienate any productive resource land.

To my knowledge the Chilcotin chiefs have said they are prepared to meet with anyone who has concerns over the Dasiqox park.

That’s good news, and perhaps the ranchers and others who live in the area may get some answers.

The Tsilhqot’in will control much of the Chilcotin land base if the park goes ahead, in addition to the big land base they were given as a result of a long legal dispute by the First Nations group. In my experience working with First Nations in business and economics I have not found many successes.

It is good they are willing to talk to those concerned about the proposed park they announced last fall.

Ken Wilson is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Weekend Advisor.