Talks between the provincial government and the Haida Nation over land use on the islands have stalled, CHN president Guujaaw told community leaders at a protocol meeting in Port Clements Tuesday (Aug. 1).
Guujaaw said the two parties did make some progress, reaching an agreement earlier this year to temporarily protect several areas with a “Part 13” designation.
However, negotiations seems to have reached an impasse over the consultation protocol – the method which the government will use to consult with First Nations, as ordered by the Supreme Court of Canada.
Guujaaw said provincial negotiators presented a template protocol which the government had been using even before the 2004 court decision.
The Haida Nation rejected that version, and the government doesn’t appear to want to develop anything else, Guujaaw said.
“Basically, it’s shelved,” he told the community leaders. “We’ve been really questioning their real desire to resolve this.”
In April, provincial representative Jose Villa-Arce said he wanted negotiations completed by the end of the year.
Almost everyone on the islands will be affected to some degree by the outcome of the talks.
CHN vice-president Arnie Bellis said the province’s decision in June to release a socio-economic assessment report on the land use plan has been a huge issue at the negotiation table. The CHN said the report was full of misinformation and designed to divide the island communities.
Leaders at the table for the meeting included Old Massett chief councillor Elizabeth Moore, Port Clements mayor Cory Delves, Masset mayor Barry Pages, Queen Charlotte mayor Carol Kulesha, Sandspit regional director Travis Glasman and Area D director Ian Hetman.
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