Semá:th Finalizes Transboundary Flood Initiative

On October 20, 2023, Semá:th First Nation joined Matsqui and Leq’á:mel First Nations, the Nooksack Indian Tribe, Lummi Nation, the City of Abbotsford, Whatcom County, British Columbia, and Washington State in signing the “Framework for Collaborative Transboundary Flood Management in the Nooksack and Sumas Watersheds.” The initiative is a multi-government agreement to mitigate flood risks and restore salmon habitat in portions of BC’s Fraser Valley and Washington State’s Whatcom County.

“Today marks an important co-operation between our governments to protect our communities and restore ecosystems,” Semá:th Chief Dalton Silver said. “Semá:th embraces this as an opportunity to exercise our rights and fulfil our obligation to take care of S’ólh Téméxw – our land. We also look forward to working with all levels of government including the Nooksack, Lummi, Leq’á:mel, and Máthxwi peoples to protect our shared territories.”

According to the BC Government, “any flood-mitigation approaches and designs will align with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.”

For more information see BC Gov News: “Governments come together to build flood resilience in Nooksack, Sumas watersheds