The Sea to Sky District, located in the south-west
mainland corner of the province, encompasses a rich diversity of First
Nations Coast Salish and Salishan linguistic people. The Squamish and
Tsleil-Waututh Nations represent the Coastal Salish linguistic groups while
Mount Currie, N’Quatqua, Samahquam, Skatin and Douglas belong to the Interior
Salish linguistic group.
As the first human inhabitants of the area, there are
many native village and town sites located throughout the Sea to Sky
District area. Signs of the rich historical native influence are evident
throughout the District beginning with the modern replica of a Coast Salish
longhouse located on Highway 99 just prior to arriving in the Squamish
town site, to the historical ishkins, or pit houses, near the Birkenhead River
north of Mount Currie.
Many of the First Nations have complex infra-structures
to administer their own businesses and community needs such as, health
clinics, housing, schools, water, sewer and elected local Chief and Council.
Community gatherings, witness ceremonies and feasts provide all local
communities an understanding and awareness that First Nations culture and
lifestyle contributes to our society.
The Aboriginal Affairs Branch of the Ministry of Forests,
Lands and Natural Resource Operations
was created in October 1994, as part of government’s response to changing
environmental and social concerns, changing market expectations and new
legislation. Aboriginal Affairs Branch and
the Aboriginal Liaison Officer provide leadership, advice and overall
co-ordination with respect to forest-related First Nations’ initiatives.
The Aboriginal Liaison Officer is the
communications link between the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural
Resource Operations and the First Nations in the Sea to Sky District and is involved in
forest and range agreement negotiations, provides information to treaty
negotiations, policy development, and increasing First Nations’
participation in the forest industry. The
Sea to Sky District has several forest and range agreements with First
Nations providing first nations direct access to forest tenures and revenue
as well as economic and employment opportunities within the Sea to Sky
District. The Sea to Sky District
employs an Aboriginal Liaison Officer stationed in the Squamish District
First Nations Consultation related links:
Other First Nation Related Useful Links