Dasiqox Tribal Park: Nexwagwez?an – There for usDasiqox Tribal Park – or what we now call ‘Nexwagwez?an’ – is an expression of governance initiated by Yunesit’in and Xeni Gwet’in, supported by the Tsilhqot’in Nation. The concept of Dasiqox Tribal Park has evolved from a place of conflict, however the intention is to express through our hearts the most thoughtful aspirations of this area as a space of healing, cultural education, economic sustenance and an intact ecosystem that supports all of our activities.
Nexwagwez?an – ‘it is there for us’ – prioritizes the Tsilhqot’in in advancing a vision rooted in Tsilhqot’in values and appropriate traditional laws to ensure that the land remains to the benefit of future generations. Our approach centers the Tsilhqot’in as leaders in guiding future land use objectives that honour Tsilhqot’in knowledge, reflects plans for sustainable economies, and is supported by sound scientific research.
What is a Tribal Park and why is it being employed?A Tribal Park is an assertion of physical space on the basis of Indigenous Law, established throughout Canada as a reaction to the Crown’s assumed authority. They often arise as a result of industrial economic activities that are incompatible with the original people’s values. Tribal Parks are also an exercise of Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution and are developed and managed by Indigenous peoples to integrate traditional ways of life, rights and responsibilities, with ecologically sound commercial activities. Internationally, Tribal Parks are recognized as Indigenous peoples’ and community conserved territories and areas, or ICCAs.
The Tsilhqot’in communities, Yunesit’in and Xeni Gwet’in, chose to organize the creation of Dasiqox Tribal Park as a means to design an alternative plan, based on years of political and legal struggles, years of research on the importance of our unique ecosystem, and the constant threat of industrial logging and mining activities. These struggles were highlighted by the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision on June 26, 2014 that unanimously awarded Title to the Tsilhqot’in Nation. In addition, the Tsilhqot’in Nation has successfully protected Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) through two Canadian Environmental Assessments, with the latest rejection of a mine issued on February 26, 2014. It is the view of the Tsilhqot’in Nation that the high cost of conflict requires a proactive approach that respects Indigenous authority to this cultural and environmentally sensitive area.
What are the characteristics of the Dasiqox Tribal Park?The Dasiqox Tribal Park is an expression of self-determination and a means of governing a land base. There are three main features, including:
- Connects surrounding parks to provide wildlife corridors
- Focuses on maintaining key species such as wolves, grizzly bears, deer, moose and salmon
- Maintains and restores integrity of forests
- Identifies and monitors watershed areas and riparian zones
- Exercises environmental stewardship on the ground
Economy for Sustainable Livelihoods
- Embraces Tsilhqot’in traditional practices of sustenance
- Supports development that is consistent with Tsilhqot’in values
- Supports sustainable livelihoods through community driven processes and economic governance
- Protects and preserves cultural heritage and archaeological sites
- Establishes cultural educational camps
- Continues to promote the use of spiritual sites
- Continues an active research program with Tsilhqot’in elders
Transitional Period Before ImplementationWe are currently developing a draft management plan that addresses the above goals. In the coming months, we will be seeking feedback from local residents, industry and government who may have interests in the area.
For further information, please e-mail Jenna Dunsby, Team Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chief Roger William (250) 267-6593
Chief Russell Myers-Ross (250) 302-2189