Forestry companies in B.C. agree to abide by the cedar protocols based on traditional laws of the First Nation members of the Nanwakolas Council. (Photo courtesy, Nanwakolas Council)

Forestry companies in B.C. agree to abide by the cedar protocols based on traditional laws of the First Nation members of the Nanwakolas Council. (Photo courtesy, Nanwakolas Council)

Landmark deal sees B.C. forest firms treat big cedars like a First Nation would

Western Forest Products, Interfor among companies to adapt declaration drafted by Nanwakolas Council

B.C. forestry companies have agreed to follow Indigenous protocols pertaining to large cultural cedars set by a B.C. Indigenous Council.

Several firms, including Western Forest Products Inc. and Interfor, as well as BC Timber Sales have indicated their intention to abide by traditional laws outlined in “Large Cultural Cedar (LCC)Operation Protocol,” according to a statement from the Nanwakolas Council.

The council consists of five First Nations members –Mamalilikulla, Tlowitsis, Da’naxda’xw Awaetlala, Wei Wai Kum, and K’ómoks – with traditional territories on northern Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland.

RELATED: Wood products pricing surge expected to persist, raising 2021 house, renovation costs

RELATED: Environmental group calls on province to preserve old-growth forests

The LCC Protocol outlines policies and procedures for those seeking to carry out forestry activities and secure permits to harvest timber in these Nations’ territories. It aims to protect culturally important large cedars – which are at risk from “large scale” logging – under traditional laws and jurisdiction.

Large, high quality red and yellow cedars – also known as ‘tree of life’– are used extensively by First Nations for cultural practices such as carving dugout canoes, totem poles and traditional buildings.

When it became difficult to find cedar trees suitable enough for our cultural needs, we decided to make some rules ourselves for the remaining trees in our territories, said Dallas Smith, president of the Nanwakolas Council.

“This way we make sure we have access to these type of trees going into the future for our current and future generations,” he said.

Explaining the workings of the protocol further Smith said that based on the dimensions outlined, if any tree is determined as an LCC by the First Nation it is off-limits for logging.

“The protocol just put up a set of rules that needs to be followed when trees of certain dimensions are found and how we’re going to manage them going forward,” he said.

In a statement, Nanwakolas Council called this agreement by members of B.C.’s forestry industry a “trailblazing move towards improved relationships between Indigenous peoples and the industry.”

“Nanwakolas Council has worked with the forestry industry for many years to help them better understand how the First Nations make resource management decisions, and in turn to understand the economic and other impacts on forestry activities of complying with Nanwakolas First Nations’ laws,” they said.

Smith, also said that the commitment by these forestry companies represents “fundamental change for the better for everyone.”

“The Protocol supports culturally important activities and increased environmental integrity, but not at the cost of economic certainty. Compliance with it will make things better not only for our communities, but regionally and for the province as a whole,” said Smith.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

First Nationsforestry

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

High winds Friday made perfect conditions for kite-surfers near the White Rock Pier. (Aaron Hinks photo)
PHOTOS: Kite-surfers take flight near White Rock Pier

Aerial performance put on near iconic waterfront attraction

White Rock City Hall (Peace Arch News photo)
City of White Rock seeking input on draft financial plan

Plan includes tax rate increase of 4.28 per cent

B.C. researchers are asking for the public’s help in monitoring the bat population. (Cathy Koot photo)
Semiahmoo Peninsula residents asked to monitor bat activity

Researchers keeping eye on spread of white-nose syndrome

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Feb. 28

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

The Alzheimer Society of BC is hosting a number of webinars next month to help people prepare for financial and healthcare needs. (Contributed photo)
Alzheimer Society invites White Rock residents to series of educational webinars

Planning Ahead: Do it Now! webinar to be held March 10

An animated Gordie Hogg introduces his 'Community Connections' videos. (YouTube screenshot)
Community Connections: Gordie Hogg speaks with Lorne Ginther

Former mayor, MP began posting conversations on YouTube in June

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Alina Durham, mother of Shaelene Bell, lights candles on behalf of Bell’s two sons during a vigil on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO and PHOTOS: Candlelight vigil for missing Chilliwack woman sends message of hope

Small group of family, friends gathered to shine light for 23-year-old mother Shaelene Bell

Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Most Read