Wildlife and Habitat Policy Working Group
We will incorporate Indigenous knowledge into statutory and non-statutory wildlife stewardship decision-making through the collaborative development of policies and procedures.
The Habitat and Wildlife Policy Working Group (formerly known as Indigenous knowledge Working Group) supports Action 20 of the Together for Wildlife strategy: “We will incorporate Indigenous knowledge into statutory and non-statutory wildlife stewardship decision-making through the collaborative development of policies and procedures. These policies and procedures will provide direction and guidance for provincial government staff in order to ensure a consistent approach across the province. In 2020 and 2021, jointly with the First Nations–B.C. Wildlife and Habitat Conservation Forum, we will draft a policy and engage with Indigenous governments. Incorporate Indigenous knowledge into wildlife stewardship decision-making.”
The group is working on a policy and procedure to support the Forum’s proposed Wildlife Act amendments. In November 2019, the Province and the First Nations Forum created an Intentions Paper to propose four amendments to the Wildlife Act. One of the amendments proposed to require wildlife and habitat management decisionmakers to meaningfully incorporate both scientific information and, at the discretion of the knowledge holder, Indigenous knowledge, laws and customs. The objective is to recognize the importance and value of Indigenous Knowledge and to formalize the requirement to incorporate Indigenous Knowledge in the decision-making process in a manner that recognizes and respects the capacity and distinctiveness of First Nations in British Columbia. The policy and procedure that is being drafted by the Indigenous Knowledge Working Group will support this potential amendment. In 2021, The province and the First Nations co-wrote proposed changes to the Wildlife Act intended to advance reconciliation. The Wildlife Act has not changed since 1966 to address First Nations legal, political or policy advancements. The amendments are tentatively scheduled for introduction in the Legislature in Spring 2022.
Members of this working group belong to the following nations:
- Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw
- West Moberly
- Carrier Sekani
- Qwelmínte Secwepemc
- Nooaitch Indian Band