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Gitanyow, BC celebrate 10 years since landmark land use plan

The province and representatives of Gitanyow First Nation joined together this afternoon to make 10 years of a landmark land-use plan.

According to a news release, the plan has reduced land-based conflicts and guided sustainable development in Gitanyow’s territory.

Under the Gitanyow Huwilp Recognition and Reconciliation Agreement, Gitanyow and the Province agreed to the Gitanyow Lax’yip Land Use Plan in 2012.

The plan led to a collaborative process between the Gitanyow, neighbouring nations and stakeholders that put the plan into effect through the landscape-level Nass South and the Cranberry Sustainable Resource Management Plans.

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President and Chief Negotiator for Gitanyow Glen Williams said the plan is not only for land use.

“It’s about recognition that we can work together as hereditary people and not the entity bands that we have in our communities. It’s possible to do it and we’re going to continue to move forward and do that whether that be in the area of governance,” he said.

The news release added the land use plan has supported sustainable development and created predictability for industry operating in Gitanyow territory, resulting in more long-term jobs and stronger economies throughout the Northwest.

Additionally, the plan has brought western scientific data and Indigenous knowledge together for optimal habitat management for salmon and key wildlife.

Minister of Land, Water and Resource Stewardship Josie Osbourne said that this plan is about the success of all people.

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“It’s supporting the health of ecosystems, it’s encouraging forestry harvesting practices that support biodiversity goals, providing certainty about fibre supply in the forest sector and supporting industry with sustainable development and it’s benefiting Gitanyow and other northwest BC communities,” she said.

According to the news release, the Nass South and Cranberry plans have also strengthened relationships with industry, building predictability that has supported stable jobs in local communities and providing the natural resource sector with tools to operate more sustainably.

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