As a signatory to the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management in 2015, Katzie First Nation is now responsible for land and environmental management on its reserve lands, and for developing its own land governance system. This is a significant step in enabling economic development on reserve lands through the rights and power to manage lands, resources and associated revenues without approval from the federal government, and the authority to make laws.
With this responsibility comes the liability for issues that arise in terms of land and environmental management, as well as the responsibility to close the significant regulatory gap that exists on First Nation reserve lands. For First Nations like Katzie that are generally faced with limited experience and capacity (compared to their neighbouring municipalities), this is an especially significant undertaking.
Dillon started working with Katzie First Nation in 2018 to develop and implement an Environmental Management and Protection Regime to manage environmental risks and begin addressing the regulatory gap that exists on First Nation reserve lands. To date, this work has included:
- Supporting the development of an Environmental Assessment Process based on best practices and aimed at ensuring any future activities on Katzie lands do not adversely impact the environment.
- Development of an Environmental Management Plan, which sets goals and strategic actions to address existing issues and implement policies and procedures to prevent future ones based on best management practices and the needs and values of the community.
- Development of a Land Use Plan, which enables highest and best use of lands in a manner that protects valued resources and does not adversely impact the general environmental well-being of Katzie lands. The Land Use Plan was developed concurrently with the EMP to enable alignment of policies.
The Dillon team also supported Katzie in building capacity for consultation and project referrals for activities within the territory, and most recently in updating the 5-year Strategic Plan.
- Organizational Environmental Programs Award, Environmental Managers Association of British Columbia, 2019 (Presented to Katzie First Nation)