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Let's sign agreement with Haida says Port mayor

Port Clements village council is spearheading an effort to get the non-Haida communities together to discuss a proposed agreement with the Council of the Haida Nation.
The "protocol agreement", which the CHN first put forward 18 months ago, would recognize the Haida Nation's claim to aboriginal title on Haida Gwaii, and also recognize the non-Haida communities' interests in the future of the islands.
However, none of the non-Haida communities have signed it, so far.
"We've been saying let's sign it, let's go," said Port mayor Dale Lore Monday (Aug. 18). "We're going to try to help organize a meeting... take a day and find out what the heck is the problem."
Mr. Lore said he wants to bring together the local municipal councils, management committees and regional district directors so they can build a consensus about the agreement.
This renewed effort to sign the protocol agreement comes after Skidegate and Old Massett said they want to see it signed before the islands start working together on a long-proposed community forest.
In a letter to Port council, Art Lew, the manager of the Haida Gwaii Community Forest Corporation, said he met with Old Massett and Skidegate last month. The two band councils said they supported the community forest, he wrote, but "made it clear that there is a need for all communities to reach consensus on the basic principles to be contained in the protocol agreement. They see this agreement as the foundation on which to build solid partnerships addressing the challenges and issues facing the islands."
Meanwhile, an evaluation of the Tlell forest area has been almost completed and "indications are that an economically viable community forest is possible," Mr. Lew wrote.

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