The Association for Denman Island Marine Stewards (ADIMS) recognizes that First Nations in BC have many just claims that must be addressed, and that the treaty process is a necessary step towards addressing these. However treaty negotiations need to be conducted with meaningful local participation. Closed negotiations that result in agreements being forced on local communities will only create new problems for the future. The province’s Ministry of Aboriginal Relations & Reconciliation’s stated objectives regarding public consultation and BC Treaty Negotiations supports this view. They have said:
“The province recognizes that communities must be consulted and informed if treaties are to be successful. Provincial negotiators develop strategic consultation plans that outline issue-specific discussions with stakeholders from different sectors and discussions with community and local government representatives. As well, reference groups may be established to review specific policy initiatives. This approach is cost effective and reflects the focus of the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation on opportunities for success.”
ADIMS is committed to working with the local First Nations and the Province. We look to both of them to ensure local community organisations such as our own have opportunities for constructive participation in discussions regarding local treaties, the outcomes of which will have important consequence for all of us and our marine environment.
– K’omoks Interim Measure Agreement (this contains the proposed aquaculture tenures that have been applied for in Henry Bay and Lambert Channel on the east side of Denman Is. – pg. 29 K’omoks FN Areas of Interest)