Its long past time that First Nations voices are heard at the capital regional district’s tables of governance. Yesterday, a path towards that goal was reached at the CRD Board meeting. Here is the resolution I proposed.
SUBJECT Establishing a governance framework for First Nations participation in regional decision-making matters, where there are common interests with Local Governments
WHEREAS the Capital Regional District Board has identified, as a key priority in its 2012-2014 Strategic Plan, the desire to build better relationships with local First Nations;
AND WHEREAS many of the local First Nations are seeking modern treaty agreements and/or other self-governance models, which will result in greater interaction and engagement at the local government level;
AND WHEREAS there is an evolving interpretation of First Nations rights and title and local government’s role in accommodation;
AND WHEREAS there is a pressing need to bring First Nations into the regional decision-making process to pragmatically address emerging issues, share information, and support First Nations community development through greater understanding of their interests, aspirations and challenges;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Capital Regional District Board recommend to the incoming Board and Board Chair to consider establishing either a First Nations Relations Standing Committee or Select Committee of the Board, with First Nations representation and membership, and in the interim, direct staff to prepare a report to the incoming Board on options for bringing First Nations into the CRD governance framework.
With special thanks to Sue Hallatt for advice and wordsmithing!