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Heiltsuk Nation signs declaration that sets stage for reconciliation

October 28, 2015




Heiltsuk Nation signs declaration that sets stage for reconciliation

(Bella Bella – Oct. 28. 2015) The Heiltsuk celebrated the signing of a declaration that sets out a renewed mandate and a unique approach to reconcile our relationship with Canada & BC.

Heiltsuk’s traditional territory is located in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest on BC’s central coast.

In the 2014 Tsilhqot’in decision, the Supreme Court of Canada held that a declaration of Aboriginal title could be obtained through a negotiated agreement, or by court declaration. Today,through the signing of the Declaration and community approval of our Title & Rights Strategy, the Heiltsuk have established our own agenda to seek reconciliation with Canada and BC.

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Coastal First Nations Executive Director Art Sterritt announces his retirement

September 28, 2015


Vancouver, September 28, 2015 – Coastal First Nations (CFN) executive director Art Sterritt announced his retirement today.

"It has been a privilege to lead the Coastal First Nations over the years and work with some of the finest leaders and professionals on the coast," Sterritt said. "After more than 40 years of working for First Nations at the community, regional and provincial levels I felt it was time for a change.”

Art’s plans to spend more time with his family and focus on carving.  He is a well-known artist, sculptor and goldsmith in B.C. and Canada. His work can be found in museums and private collections throughout North America.

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First Nations and Province complete marine plans

April 27, 2015

Marine management took a significant step forward today, with the completion of plans under the Marine Planning Partnership (MaPP) for the North Pacific Coast; a co-led partnership between the Province of B.C. and 18 coastal Nations.

The MaPP plans provide recommendations for key areas of marine management, including uses, activities and protection and will inform decisions regarding the sustainable economic development and stewardship of the coastal marine environment in the plan areas, which extend from Haida Gwaii to Campbell River on Vancouver Island.

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MaPPing the way forward for ocean jobs and protection

April 27, 2015

MaPPing the way forward for ocean jobs and protection http://bit.ly/1J3Xde2

The recent toxic fuel spill that closed Vancouver beaches had Premier Christy Clark calling for stronger leadership in the management of B.C.’s oceans.

“Somebody has to start looking after our coasts,” she urged.

On Monday, 18 coastal First Nations and the Province will announce plans that chart a course for the long-term sustainability of our coastal ecosystems and communities.

For almost five years, First Nations and the Province — with broad participation and support from industry, conservation groups, and coastal communities — have worked together to lay a foundation for a sustainable marine economy while safeguarding B.C.’s vast Pacific waters.

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Heiltsuk Nation supports keepers of sacred fire on Burnaby Mountain

November 25, 2014


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Coastal First Nations Support NDP Bill to Protect Pacific Northwest

September 24, 2014

(Vancouver, Sept. 23, 2014) – The Coastal First Nations supports a federal NDP bill aimed at putting in place a law that would prohibit supertankers from on the North Coast.

Skeena-Bulkley Valley NDP MP Nathan Cullen introduced a private members bill, An Act to Defend the Pacific Northwest, that would also give communities a stronger voice in pipeline reviews and consider impacts of projects on jobs.

Executive Director Art Sterritt said for too long the concerns of our people and the majority of British Columbians have been ignored. “The bill addresses some of our major concerns with Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline.”

The pipeline review process with First Nations has been lacking. “This bill will ensure that our voices and concerns are heard.”

Sterritt said the bill will allow for more sustainable and long-term jobs. “We have spent more than a decade developing a sustainable economy.”

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Great Bear film on importance of bears

September 11, 2014

A Coastal First Nations led collaboration with researchers from leading academic universities provides remarkable insights into the importance of bears and the other keystone species to the ecosystems of the Great Bear Rainforest. An outstanding video produced by the Heiltsuk and Kitsoo Xai'xais along with UBC Studios.


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Bear Viewing Guides Set Deadline of September 9 for Chance to Trade Hunting Tags for Once-in-a-lifetime Trip

August 28, 2014

Vancouver, BC - With opening day of the fall bear hunt fast approaching, professional First Nations bear guides are reminding BC hunters of their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to trade in their grizzly hunt tags for a chance to shoot bears with cameras, not guns. 

Resident hunters who have successfully applied for a Limited Entry Hunt (LEH) authorization for a grizzly bear in regions 5-08 and 5-09 are invited to send in their tags by September 10 to be in the draw for a trip for two to Spirit Bear Lodge, an award-winning bear and wildlife viewing resort in Klemtu BC. 

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Art Sterritt wins prestigious Stanford award

August 5, 2014

Stanford announces 2014 Stanford Bright Award recipient

The Stanford Bright Award recognizes unheralded individuals who have made significant contributions to global sustainability. Art Sterritt will receive the 2014 award for his efforts in protecting the Great Bear Rainforest in Canada.

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Heiltsuk and Kitasoo-Xaixais Nations jointly file court challenge to Federal decison approving Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline

July 14, 2014


First Nations vow to uphold community mandates to protect their  territories from oil tankers

BELLA BELLA, BC – (July 14, 2014) Following the federal government’s approval of Enbridge Northern Gateway, the Heiltsuk and Kitasoo-Xaixais Nations are vowing to fight in the court, and if necessary, on the land, to protect their coastal territories and way of life.

“Our people have been clear since this pipeline was proposed,” said Chief Councillor Marilyn Slett. “We will not allow this to threaten our waters. We stand with our relatives up and down the coast in rejecting this frightful project.”

The two central coast First Nations groups have jointly applied for the right to bring a judicial review of the federal government’s decision. “This issue has catalyzed our peoples,” said Kitasoo-Xaixais Tribal Councillor Douglas Neasloss. “Let this be a signal that we intend to fight this project in a spirit of unified strength.”

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