Forestry companies in B.C. agree to abide by the cedar protocols based on traditional laws of the First Nation members of the Nanwakolas Council. (Photo courtesy, Nanwakolas Council)

Forestry companies in B.C. agree to abide by the cedar protocols based on traditional laws of the First Nation members of the Nanwakolas Council. (Photo courtesy, Nanwakolas Council)

Landmark deal sees B.C. forest firms treat big cedars like a First Nation would

Western Forest Products, Interfor among companies to adapt declaration drafted by Nanwakolas Council

B.C. forestry companies have agreed to follow Indigenous protocols pertaining to large cultural cedars set by a B.C. Indigenous Council.

Several firms, including Western Forest Products Inc. and Interfor, as well as BC Timber Sales have indicated their intention to abide by traditional laws outlined in “Large Cultural Cedar (LCC)Operation Protocol,” according to a statement from the Nanwakolas Council.

The council consists of five First Nations members –Mamalilikulla, Tlowitsis, Da’naxda’xw Awaetlala, Wei Wai Kum, and K’ómoks – with traditional territories on northern Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland.

RELATED: Wood products pricing surge expected to persist, raising 2021 house, renovation costs

RELATED: Environmental group calls on province to preserve old-growth forests

The LCC Protocol outlines policies and procedures for those seeking to carry out forestry activities and secure permits to harvest timber in these Nations’ territories. It aims to protect culturally important large cedars – which are at risk from “large scale” logging – under traditional laws and jurisdiction.

Large, high quality red and yellow cedars – also known as ‘tree of life’– are used extensively by First Nations for cultural practices such as carving dugout canoes, totem poles and traditional buildings.

When it became difficult to find cedar trees suitable enough for our cultural needs, we decided to make some rules ourselves for the remaining trees in our territories, said Dallas Smith, president of the Nanwakolas Council.

“This way we make sure we have access to these type of trees going into the future for our current and future generations,” he said.

Explaining the workings of the protocol further Smith said that based on the dimensions outlined, if any tree is determined as an LCC by the First Nation it is off-limits for logging.

“The protocol just put up a set of rules that needs to be followed when trees of certain dimensions are found and how we’re going to manage them going forward,” he said.

In a statement, Nanwakolas Council called this agreement by members of B.C.’s forestry industry a “trailblazing move towards improved relationships between Indigenous peoples and the industry.”

“Nanwakolas Council has worked with the forestry industry for many years to help them better understand how the First Nations make resource management decisions, and in turn to understand the economic and other impacts on forestry activities of complying with Nanwakolas First Nations’ laws,” they said.

Smith, also said that the commitment by these forestry companies represents “fundamental change for the better for everyone.”

“The Protocol supports culturally important activities and increased environmental integrity, but not at the cost of economic certainty. Compliance with it will make things better not only for our communities, but regionally and for the province as a whole,” said Smith.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

First Nationsforestry

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Forty-seven vaccination clinics will open across Interior Health beginning March 15. (Canadian Press)
48 COVID-19 vaccine clinics to open across Interior Health

Select groups can book appointments starting Monday

Glenalee Berarducci Zooms with her daughter Deanne in Kenya. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
Inspiring women: one Revelstoke woman shows the power of parental support

Glenalee Berarducci is a pillar of help for her children

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Mary Clayton testing her ski and avalanche gear. As communications director, Clayton helped create Avalanche Canada into the success it is today. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
Inspiring women: It was a men’s world – until Revelstoke’s Mary Clayton broke into it

She helped create Avalanche Canada into the internationally recognized organization it is today

John Hordyk said it isn’t fair to just look at COVID-19 deaths as many survivors are experiencing long-term impacts, himself included. (Photo by Rachel Muise)
Not getting better: Revelstoke man diagnosed with post-COVID-19 syndrome

‘I hope the damage isn’t long term, but it could be permanent’

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
One of two Kelowna General Hospital COVID-19 outbreaks declared over

One outbreak declared over after two deaths, seven cases; another outbreak remains ongoing in the hospital

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna care home after 12 cases noted

Two staff members and 10 residents at Cottonwoods Care Centre have tested positive for COVID-19

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

There is no true picture of how many youth in Penticton are experiencing housing instability or true homelessness. The Foundry and the city of Penticton are trying to find that out.
How many youth are experiencing homelessness in Penticton?

Foundry Penticton and the City have partnered on a youth survey open until March 13

Chelsea Ishizuka was borned and raised in Penticton but has now moved to Japan. When she found out there was a popular restaurant there named after Penticton, she had to go check it out. Here she is with the owner (right). (Facebook)
Popular restaurant in Japan named after city of Penticton

A Pentictonite now living in Tokyo discovered the eatery and the history behind its name

Coldstream’s Kalamalka Secondary has teamed up with Globox on a fundraising raffle for its graduating class of 2021. (Photo supplied)
Okanagan secondary school grads glowing over fundraiser

Kalamalka Secondary teams with company on fundraising raffle, replacing annual apple pie fundraiser

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Most Read