FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – At a recent City Council meeting, Doig River First Nations made a presentation to Council and requested a letter to be sent to the Pathway to Canada, Target 1 Challenge, to receive funding to for a four year work plan and establish their Tribal Park, K’ih tsaaʔdze (“kih-tsah-tsay”).
Council carried the motion to write the requested letter in order for the Doig River First Nation to move forward and prepare their proposal for funding from the Pathway to Canada, Target 1 Challenge, part of Canada’s Nature fund. By establishing the K’ih Tsaa?dze Tribal Park as an Indigenous Protected and Conserved area, the park will maintain the following;
- 1. Maintain Doig River traditional and contemporary cultural uses
- 2. Restore ecological integrity and biological diversity
- 3. Maintain natural ecological integrity and biological diversity
The land in which the K’ih Tsaa? dse is located is rich with cultural significance to the Doig River First Nations. The land holds deep spiritual meaning as it has been a place of stories that tell about many births and deaths that have taken place there.
Application to the Nature Fund and the potential of receiving funds would bring provinces, territories, Indigenous people, the private and non-profit sectors together to collaborate towards meeting the terrestrial elements of Target 1 of Canada’s 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets shares the Doig River First Nations.
Target 1 states: “By 2020, at least 17 percent of terrestrial areas and inland water, and 10 percent of coastal and marine areas, are conserved through networks of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures.”
K’ih Tsaa?dze will be managed under an ecosystem-based conservation plan (EBCP), prepared by Doig River First Nation, and endorsed by the Provinces of BC and Alberta. The focus of the plan will be to protect, and/or where necessary, restore natural ecological and cultural integrity within K’ih Tsaa?dze.
K’ih Tsaa?dze Tribal Park is made up of boreal forest, including wetlands, deciduous forests, mixed wood forests and coniferous forest which is home to a highly productive, biologically diverse boreal ecosystems, rare species and a natural habitat for boreal Caribou.
The area which is located 40 kilometres northeast of Fort St. John, is 90,000-hectares of land straddling the B.C.-Alberta border.
“Doig has been really good at inclusivity. We are all land users, this is our backyard. There has to be a balance between industry and enviroment,”Chief Trevor Makadhay said at the end of the presentation, “It is up to all of us to bring initiatives like this to a happy ending. If we do it all together, its something we can all be proud of together.”
Mayor Lori Ackerman shared, through openness, transparency and accountability to your community you have been able to achieve that and I see that same approach with this project.