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

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, prepares a dose of the Moderna vaccine in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Almost two in three Canadians surveyed recently said they trust COVID-19 vaccines to be both safe and effective. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Northern Health to open 30 COVID vaccine clinics for oldest residents, Indigenous seniors

Health authority says it plans to vaccinate nearly 15,000 people in Phase Two

(899 Vanderhoof Air Cadets/Facebook)
Vanderhoof Air Cadets to hold fundraising raffle this summer

Winners will be announced in May this year

Artemis Gold is taking a different approach with the Blackwater Project. The company will be working in three phases. The average gold production at Blackwater will be 248,000 ounces in Phase 1, 420,000 ounces in Phase 2 and 316,000 ounces in Phase 3. (Submitted image)
Artemis Gold provides update on Blackwater Gold Project

Ore grade control drilling, metallurgical test work and more being conducted

NDIT logo.
NDIT grants over $160K to Vanderhoof for street lighting project on Burrard

Total cost of the project is approximately $380,000

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead on Vancouver Island in ‘targeted incident’

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Most Read