Province, Lake Babine Nation Work Toward 25-year Partnership

The province and and the Lake Babine Nation have announced a plan to develop what they're calling a 25-year "roadmap to reconciliation".

The Foundation Pathway Agreement -- signed by Chief Wilf Adam and Aboriginal Relations Minister John Rustad -- sets out a commitment by both sides to negotiate a long-term framework to strengthen the government-to-government relationship.

Adam says, among other things, the agreement will strengthen Lake Babine's participation in the regional forest economy.

"At the beginning, we said that we'd like to take over forestry through a period of time down the road, but in the meantime, we want at least 250-thousand cubic metres of timber, and we're getting close to that for this year so that's part of the interim agreement that we have to sign,"  he said.

Adam says finalizing the agreement will have to wait until after the May election -- and then the federal government will also have to sign on.

"It's going to involve land down the road and they have to be involved with areas of that nature, child welfare and stuff like that," he said.

Rustad says the pathway agreement is the first of its kind, and will provide First Nations and industry the certainty they need to forge new partnerships.