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The journey we make together

A look under the Canopy of Your Community Forest

Community First.

A look under the canopy of our shared Community Forest.

The Journey we make together.

Syiyaya Days may have ended on July 1st, but our commitment to reconciliation has only begun. On Sunday, July 3rd, the Sunshine Coast Community Forest Board and staff were honoured to continue our support of the Syiyaya Reconciliation Movement by providing our third donation toward the development and completion of the late Tony Paul’s final work, “Carving Tears into Dreams of Reconciliation.” The finished Totem Pole will reside at Our House of Clans, in Reconciliation Plaza, currently under construction in Sechelt. Chief Carver xwalacktun Harry has been working 16-hour days to complete Tony’s vision, with the help of several shishalh Nation carvers including Manuela Salinas, Dionne Paul, Shain Jackson and others. We are truly humbled by the talent and commitment of all the artists and supporters who are giving their time and and energy to help in the completion of this important monument. Our involvement in the project began in 2018, with an initial donation to help launch the initiative, followed by two Community Forest Legacy Grants in 2019, and now this week’s final contribution to help with the completion of the Totem. These funds have helped to realize a vision that offers the promise of bringing us all closer in reconciliation; united in our shared humanity. It is with open hands and open hearts that we commit ourselves to the journey of reconciliation, with each purposeful step leading us to the next. We thank all of the artists, Nation members and the Syiyaya Reconciliation Movement team for their generosity in allowing us to be a contributor to this lasting legacy.

Sustaining our shared future: How we work together with the shishalh Nation.

On a day to day basis, we support reconciliation by respecting the shishalh Nation's governance and authority over the lands in their traditional territory, which wholly include the Community Forest. The infographic below provides an overview of the back and forth exchange that happens between the Community Forest and the shishalh Nation starting at the very beginning of any of our planning. We do not proceed with anything without their approval. We continuously work at and appreciate the relationship we have built together, and see the enduring value we create through our partnership.

The shishalh Nation undertook to engage with their community and develop a Strategic Land Use Plan which was formally endorsed in 2007. This plan was ratified as a living document, and the Nation’s Stewardship and Territorial Land Management Division has this as a guide in much the same way that the Planning Department at a local municipality reviews and either approves or declines activities based on their bylaws. The plan identifies the intent for the Community Forest area is to “maintain opportunities for shíshálh cultural use, while allowing for appropriate economic development activities that respect the integrity of the shíshálh Nation territory as a whole.” The shishalh Nation is also currently engaged in a comprehensive Modern Land Use Planning process with the Province of BC to review and update this plan. The Draft Modern Land Use Plan is expected to be available near the end of 2023.

From the earliest stages of planning, the Community Forest refers any activity such as road building, signs, trails, or logging to the shishalh Nation’s Stewardship and Territorial Land Management Division. They review our planned activities against their existing land use plan, the modern land use planning process, and known historical and cultural sites of importance ensuring that our planned activity is aligned with their objectives. Archaeological reconnaissance is one step in this process, which is lead by the shishalh Nation as guardians of their own archeological findings and knowledge. Ultimately their Land Management Division responds to our plans several times to provide feedback, ask questions or request additional information or studies. Following this thorough review process, this technical team makes their recommendations to hiwus and Council who have final approval.

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