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Recognizing unceded territory

Letters to the Editor for the week of Oct. 24

In the Oct. 17 issue of the Pique, there were two back-to-back articles regarding Joffre Lakes Park and the Nlháxten / Cerise Creek Conservancy. Both articles failed to mention that these places are within the unceded territory of the Lil'wat Nation. Furthermore, Lil'wat Nation is taking an active role, working collaboratively with BC Parks, in the management of these areas.

Last March, Lil'wat Nation and BC Parks celebrated their completion of the Nlháxten / Cerise Creek Conservancy Management Plan. The plan sets out the vision goals and strategies for this Conservancy, including the protection of Lil'wat cultural interests and values.

Lil'wat Nation is also working in partnership with N'Quatqua and BC Parks on a Visitor Use Management Strategy for Joffre Lakes Park to address the impacts from the high number of visitors.

This last summer, collaborative efforts resulted in two First Nation Stewards (one from Lil'wat and one from N'Quatqua) working alongside the Park Rangers at Joffre Lakes Park to inform and remind visitors to be respectful to Lil'wat and N'Quatqua territory.

These initiatives, and other land stewardship work by Lil'wat Nation, are an important part of Lil'wat Nation's overall vision to govern all of Lil'wat Territory, almost 800,000 hectares of land.

It is important to be aware that Joffre Lakes Park and the Nlháxten / Cerise Conservancy are on unceded territory, and public access is a privilege that should be appreciated and respected.

Chief Dean Nelson // Lil'wat Nation