The leadership of six First Nations in the Northwest have outlined some of the background towards an initiative called the Tsimshian Leadership Protocol, which will bring the Gitga’at Nation, Lax Kw’alaams Band, Kitasoo / Xai’Xais Nation, Kitselas First Nation, Kitsumkalum First Nation, and Metlakatla First Nation together towards come common interests.
Formed last year, the leadership of the six created the terms for the Protocol in December which provides for a four page document that charts the course forward for the initiative.
The work that they plan to take on has been described as a historic understanding of cooperation and unity for the Nations. The Protocol establishes the Tsimshian Leadership Table for the leadership to come together on a regular basis in a spirit of sharing and co-existence, while continuing to practice and strengthen their respective political systems and laws, sovereignty, and hereditary title and rights.
It will also serve to set out principles on how the Nations will cooperatively advance collective interests and protect Tsimshian rights. Protection of fishing rights, resources, food security, and working together on marine emergency response are some priorities.
As part of the initiative, the Tsimshian Leadership Table may also explore stewardship and economic development opportunities to bring wealth and wellness to their respective communities.
Among some of the areas that they are looking to work together on include
Joint Tsimshian initiatives on government issues with Canada and/or British Columbia, without interfering with each Nation’s respective structures and jurisdictions.
Create a forum for launching opportunities for bilateral discussions among two or more of the Tsimshian Nations.
Create a forum for launching of initiatives or opportunities common across the technical and operational levels of the Tsimshian Nations.
Plan for an all Tsimshian gathering post-pandemic.
Explore boundary discussions and processes.
The continued impact of the sport fishery on Tsimshian traditional and s.35 fishing rights, and the failure to protect and respect Tsimshian’s priority rights.
Protection of Tsimshian s.35 fishing rights.
Protection of Tsimshian resources and food security.
Marine emergency response: possible collaborative stewardship opportunities and possible business opportunities.
COVID19 / health and safety issues.
Exploration of a joint Tsimshian guardians program.
Towards the road ahead for the Tsimshian Leadership Table they have identified five areas of note towards building one the protocol into the future.
Bridge hereditary leaders into the Tsimshian Leadership Table
Build a role for stewardship personnel to support the Tsimshian Leadership Table
Avoid duplication of work and processes by ensuring technical work gets Leadership support and by identifying issues / gaps etc. in the various Tsimshian Nations initiatives, structures, and processes.
Assist in seeking funding resources and options to support the table.
The Table participants will review the progress and structure of their initiative towards the end of the fiscal year.
As they move forward with their work on the Tsimshian Leadership Table, we'll track any developments from it through this archive page
for each Nation represented on the Table.
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