The vast majority of land in BC is unceded – whether at the confluence of the Skeena and Bulkley Rivers or in the Town of Smithers. All nations are unique with their own laws and governance structures, and it is imperative that government-to-government decision-making be the new norm on land use and watershed-based decisions.

In its absence, investors will have less certainty, fewer projects will achieve social licence, and court cases will likely increase. In the Tsihlqot’in Supreme Court decision, it states: “…if legislation was validly enacted before title was established, such legislation may be rendered inapplicable going forward to the extent that it unjustifiably infringes Aboriginal title.”

UNDRIP was adopted by consensus to protect and uphold the human rights of Indigenous peoples

Northern Confluence recognizes that land in BC is subject to Aboriginal Rights and Title. Land use decisions must respect First Nations’ governance and laws, honour the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and adhere to the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).

We build relationships and work with allies to push for implementation of FPIC in provincial and federal laws. Through workshops and knowledge sharing, we are also building capacity and awareness around FPIC in the NGO sector and with other stakeholders.

Nikki Skuce