Canada

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get funding from B.C. government

VICTORIA — The B.C. government has reached an agreement to give Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs $7.2 million in funding to support the implementation of their rights and title.

The government says in a statement the three-year funding will support the chiefs’ efforts to reunify members of the Wet’suwet’en nation, which includes six First Nations.

It will also support the revitalization of Wet’suwet’en governance structures in areas like water stewardship and wildlife programs, and renovations at a former school that will be used as a governance and administration centre.

The provincial government says it has also reached an agreement with the neighbouring Lake Babine Nation to accelerate the distribution of $22 million previously planned over several years.

The government says the lump-sum payment means the nation can make larger-scale economic development and forestry investments sooner and create a wealth plan to grow the investment.

The government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 16, 2021.

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