Burns Lake Band closes agreement to boost its economy

The agreement with the province will support socio-economic development.

The Burns Lake Band is part of a new agreement between the province, the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council and six other Carrier Sekani First Nations to increase social and economic well-being of their members.

This agreement is expected to strengthen these communities through social, cultural and economic development. This will include supports such as skills training, education and language programs for community members.

The province says “restoration and protection of natural resources” is a focus of these agreements.

According to the province, the agreements will ensure Carrier Sekani input is recognized and incorporated into natural resource development, including regulatory processes. In addition, these agreements are expected to guide how the Carrier Sekani First Nations and the province approach future resource sector agreements.

John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, said these agreements mark the beginnings of a new, positive government-to-government relationship between the province and the Carrier Sekani First Nations.

“These agreements are a testament to the progress that can be made when we all work together,” he said. “The process has been constructive for both the province and Carrier Sekani First Nations as we walk further down the path of reconciliation and understanding.”

The collaboration agreement and an environmental and socio-cultural initiatives agreement include new principles for collaborative decision making and a pathway to address reconciliation of rights and title.

The province says creating these new land and resource management processes will also help build greater confidence for industry looking to invest, while also ensuring that Carrier Sekani Nations will benefit from development on their traditional territories.

The combined population of Carrier Sekani Tribal Council member nations is more than 5500 people living on- and off-reserve, including in Burns Lake, Takla Lake, Tachie, Fraser Lake, Vanderhoof, Fort St. James, Prince George and Vancouver.