First Nations Support For Grizzly Bear Recovery:
Excerpts From Each Of The Band Council Resolutions:
2011 St'at'imc Chiefs Council
From the SGS Environment Program:
The First Nations in southwest British Columbia are the original inhabitants of this land and we have never ceded our Title and Rights. Moreover, our Nations embrace our responsibility for the sustainability of this land.
The Grizzly bear has always played a prominent role in our communities as a cultural and ecological umbrella species – its presence a measure of the health of our lands and our people. Thus it is our responsibility to ensure that the grizzly continues to occupy its traditional range for time without end.
The St’át’imc Nation has been involved in Grizzly bear research and recovery efforts since 1999. In 2011, the St’át’imc Chiefs Council (SCC) passed a Resolution for Grizzly bear recovery to focus their ongoing efforts to protect the Grizzly bear and to recognize it as an umbrella species for their culture. The SCC supports the Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative, and calls on all its neighbouring Nations to join in the effort to sustain Grizzly bears.
2014 Okanagan Nation Alliance
From ONA Tribal Council Resolution:
The Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) Chiefs Executive Council has declared Grizzly Bear, known as kiʔlawnaʔ in the nsyilxcen language, as At-Risk and in need of protection.
The Syilx (Okanagan) territory was once home to thriving populations of grizzly bears but today few remain. Without prompt recovery efforts, three remnant grizzly populations, the North Cascades, the Kettle-Granby, and the South Selkirks will soon disappear. It is critical that we ensure that kiʔlawnaʔ is protected and recovered in ways consistent with our culture, traditional knowledge, values, laws and customs.
In November of 2014, the ONA passed a Tribal Council Resolution declaring kiʔlawnaʔ at-risk and protected in Syilx Territory, that recovery be a priority, to achieve recovery by balancing best available information, practices and scientific knowledge with traditional knowledge and protocols. The resolution also gave support to the Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative and called on other First Nation organisations, the "Province of British Columbia, the Government of Canada, the State of Washington and the United States Government to act promptly and effectively to implement co-operative actions for protection of Grizzly Bear and recovery of threatened Grizzly Bear populations in southern British Columbia and northern United States".
2015 Squamish Nation
In April 2015 the Squamish Nation added their voice to calls to safeguard Stl'lhalem (grizzly bear) on their territory.
The resolution recognises that: 'supportive relationship with other Nations, Governments, and organisations are needed to ensure that Stl'lhalem - grizzly bear will remain, occupy and thrive in it's traditional areas for all time'. This commitment to working with others is consistent with the sentiment of neighbouring Nations who have already declared similar resolutions in support of grizzly bear recovery, the Sta'at'imc Nation and the Okanagan Nation Alliance.
The Squamish Nation has joined their neighbouring First Nations by declaring this resolution calling for the protection and recovery of Stl'lhalem (grizzly bear), highlighting that:
"Stl'lhalem (grizzly bear) has been an integral and critical part of Squamish Nation culture since time immemorial - its presence in Squamish Nation territory is an indicator of the health of the Squamish Nation land and people".