In 2013, The Tk'emplups te Secwepemc First Nations people of southern British Columbia were awarded $33,900 over three years to work with their elders to describe cultural heritage resources (CHRs) in the Kamloops Timber Supply Area and train younger tribal members to work with the forest industry to protect these resources. Cultural Heritage Resources are defined as the legacy of physical artifacts, tangible attributes, and intangible attributes and values of a group or society that are inherited from past generations, maintained in the present and bestowed for the benefit of future generations. The introduction of the Forest and Range Practices Act requires the conservation and protection of CHRs.
The project created a sound and consistent method for field assessment of CHRs and developed capacity to conduct CHR assessments. It also improved CHR identification through providing guidance on traditional knowledge to tribal members. Additionally, Tk'emplups te Secwepemc was successful in improving general awareness of CHRs in the forestry community and raising support for sustainable forest management and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative certification among the First Nation community.
This project supported a number of SFI objectives including the protection of Special Sites and the management of lands that are ecologically and culturally important in a manner that takes into account their unique qualities. It also advanced SFI’s goal to support SFI Program Participants with forest management responsibilities on public lands in conferring with affected indigenous peoples to respect traditional forest-related knowledge, identify spiritually, historically or culturally important sites and address use of non-timber forest products of value to indigenous peoples.
This project was a collaboration between seven First Nations: Tk’emlups te Secwepemc, Adams Lake Indian Band, Bonaparte Indian Band, Neskonlith Indian Band, Simpcw First Nation, Skeetchestn Indian Band, Splatsin First Nation. Other Partners included International Forest Products Limited, West Fraser Timber Company Limited, BC Timber Sales, BC Ministry of Forests: Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Shuswap Nation Tribal Council, Tolko Industries Ltd. and Gilbert Smith Forest Products Ltd.
About Tk'emlups te Secwepemc
The Tk'emlupsemc people, whom occupy a vast territory of the interior of British Columbia, owns and opperates it's own Forestry Development Corporation -- which works to generate higher and better value added returns from the Band's timber resources through strategic processing and marketing of timber. With a plethora of land and natural resources, the Band makes extraordinary efforts to preserve what is most valuable to the band.
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