Partnering with First Nations

We believe strongly in preserving wild places along the BC coast, not just for our own enjoyment, but for all future generations to come. As stewards of these lands and waters since time immemorial, we respect First Nations and their inherent right to sustainably manage recreation within their territories. 

In support of broader, nationwide efforts toward reconciliation, BCMT uses an approach of consultation, collaboration, and partnership when working with First Nations. We are committed to ensuring that the work of our many volunteers and members is done with full respect to First Nations rights and values, and that Indigenous communities are given the opportunity to participate in our efforts to shape sustainable paddling. This is reflected in both our Mission Statement and Core Values, laid out in our 2020-2023 Strategic Plan. Learn more about our plan.

Quatsino Guardian Vessel anchored at Drake Island during 2021 joint site maintenance trip with BCMT.

BCMT is also committed to continuously improving our efforts to work with First Nations in order to build lasting partnerships. We hold a regular working group to address current issues and employ a First Nations Liaison, made possible through the support of the BC Real Estate Foundation and other partners. 

The First Nations Liaison provides consistent engagement and enables dialogue. Information about proposed marine trail sites is shared and discussed in a respectful manner, and where possible, agreements are reached to permit access to sites within a First Nations’ traditional territory, while guiding the public away from the most sensitive spiritual and heritage sites. Sharing information supports our mutual belief in collaborative stewardship, and benefits First Nations initiatives like the Guardian program. Read more on the Guardian program here.

We owe First Nations a great debt today for the many paddling routes, techniques and technologies they have developed. If you’d like to learn more about how we’re working together, find more information on our blog.

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