Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council signs decision-making agreement with British Columbia

On June 28, 2023, the Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council (NNTC) and the British Columbia Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation announced a new agreement reached between the province and the Nlaka’pamux Nation. Signed in March 2023, the Land and Resource Decision Making Agreement (LRDMA) is designed to improve the shared decision-making process over land and resource use in Nlaka’pamux territory. With this agreement, the NNTC will collaborate with BC to create frameworks that address reconciliation initiatives and advance Nlaka’pamux self-government, as well as the economic and cultural well-being of Nlaka’pamux membership. The LRDMA will also support a process that promotes direct engagement between land and resource developers and the NNTC.

The NNTC is the governing body for the Nlaka’pamux Nation’s title and rights and serves as the tribal council to support the interests of its member communities including: Boothroyd Indian Band; Lytton First Nation; Oregon Jack Creek Band; and Skuppah Indian Band.

Tribal Chair of the NNTC, Oregon Jack Creek Chief Matt Pasco sees the agreement as an important step for the “relationship between our Communities and our People and the Province of British Columbia.” After many years of work on a pilot agreement, under which the NNTC developed “new, creative and different ways of dealing with land and resource decisions throughout the Nlaka’pamux homeland,” this agreement formally recognizes Nlaka’pamux’s stewardship over its land. “Our Communities and People have been very disciplined in our work with the Crown over the years,” Chief Pasco explains. “The pathway forward is this principled one in which the best technical analysis, deep and respectful relationships, and recognition of the vital importance of lands and resources to our culture and way of life, are the foundations for how we make decisions together.” Pasco is certain that the LRDMA will “lead to further development of new policies, new ways of doing business together, and lead to greater recognition, respect and sustainable prosperity for all.”

Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council signs decision-making agreement with British Columbia. June 28, 2023.

LRDMA signing ceremony at Kahmoose (Boothroyd, BC)
Photo credit: Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Communications Office

The LRDMA builds from previous agreements between the NNTC and BC including the 2012 Framework Agreement that set out initial principles and procedures for negotiating decision-making and economic relations. The NNTC and BC then signed the 2014 Resource Decision Making Pilot Project Agreement, which provides the foundation for the LRDMA, as well as the 2017 Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council and British Columbia Political Accord on Advancing Recognition, Reconciliation and Implementation of Title and Rights Accord and the 2021 Comprehensive Forestry Agreement.

Under the LRDMA, BC will provide Nlaka’pamux Nation with $2.1 million over the next three years for implementation, as well as an additional $400,000 to support Reconciliation Initiatives.

Mandell Pinder lawyer Krista Robertson, Chief Mike Campbell (Boothroyd), and Chief Matt Pasco (Oregon Jack Creek)

From left to right: Chief Mike Campbell (Boothroyd), Mandell Pinder lawyer Krista Robertson, Chief Matt Pasco (Oregon Jack Creek).
Photo credit: Krista Robertson