The Tŝilhqot’in Nation says it welcomes some of the 108 recommendations contained in the BC Flood and Wildfire Review released last week.
But the Nation says it’s disappointed by a lack of official involvement in the report’s development. Tŝilhqot’in territory saw the largest wildfires in the province’s history last season, yet it says Tribal Chairman Chief Joe Alphonse was given no official invitation to participate.
Ironically, one of the major themes of the review is fostering better relationships with First Nations and improving communication.
“As far as the Tŝilhqot’in Nation is concerned, we were at the frontline of the 2017 wildfires and took a leadership role in escalating the need for change. The BC Flood and Wildfire Review is incomplete without the input of our Nation and our communities. The largest wildfires in BC were in our backyard and at times right in our communities,” says Alphonse in a news release.
As the governing body for over 3000 people, the Tŝilhqot’in National Government says it expected that the Nation’s collective experiences would be used to seek solutions for future emergencies.
Despite its disappointment, the TNG says it will do its part to ensure that the Tŝilhqot’in expertise contributes to the body of knowledge so all First Nations and levels of government can learn and benefit.