Huu-ay-aht elected Chief Councillor Robert Dennis Sr. (Photo by Heather Thomson)

Huu-ay-aht elected Chief Councillor Robert Dennis Sr. (Photo by Heather Thomson)

Huu-ay-aht First Nations reschedule Old-Growth Summit to April 28

50 coastal Indigenous nations will gather to share resource management expertise

The Anacla Old-Growth Summit, postponed last November, has been rescheduled to April 28.

Tsawak-qin Forestry Limited Partnership and Huu-ay-aht First Nations are co-hosting the event, which was deferred due to provincial travel restrictions imposed at the time.

Tayii Ha’wilth Derek Peters (Head Hereditary Chief, Huu-ay-aht First Nations) and Elected Chief Councillor Robert J. Dennis, Sr. will host the summit, which will bring together 50 coastal Indigenous nations to share information on their stewardship and resource management planning and decision making processes.

“As sovereign nations, we know how much old growth is left and we know the key priority is planning for what happens in the long term,” Dennis Sr. said.

“There has been much debate in recent months over how much old growth is left and how much is being deferred for the next two years. That debate is over. This summit will enable sovereign nations to share the important work they are doing and stewardship decisions they are making for the benefit of their members or citizens, their lands and waters, and all British Columbians. Our land is our culture and it is our stewardship decisions that count.”

In stark contrast to public conversations to date, this summit will reflect the depth and broad range of professionals, academics and subject matter experts who advise sovereign nations. It will highlight the important ways in which sovereign nations across the coast are already drawing on the wisdom and expertise of their communities, their partners, and the experts they have retained to exercise their inherent stewardship rights as Indigenous governments.

“As sovereign nations we know the lands and waters better than anyone, and it is our responsibility to balance the many competing interests, not third parties and environmental groups,” said Peters.

“Stewardship and old growth decisions for present and future needs of nations and the ecosystems on their lands are to be made in a manner that benefits all. This is a move away from endless, unproductive debates amongst experts, environmental groups, industry, and protesters about how much old growth is left and how much needs to be protected for the next two years.”

The summit will also be an opportunity to introduce the Indigenous Witwak Guardians who protect, monitor and enhance Tsawak-qin Forestry operations. Their role is to bring awareness to all invited land users on traditions and protocols one must adhere to while visiting or working in the area including TFL 44 and other Huu-ay-aht tenures.

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