In response to a letter the District of Hope received from Chawathil First Nation (CFN,) dated Feb 19. 2016, stating the Band’s preparedness to formalize a special government to government Protocol Agreement, the District drafted a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to be considered by both parties.
Chief Rhoda Peters of Chawathil First Nation wrote in the original correspondence:
In developing the long term document, CFN views that the existing Hope Official Community Development Plan (OCDP) does not represent a complete picture of First Nation inclusion.
Chawathil First Nation maintains their right of participation and acknowledgement of development prospects with their traditional territory a vital process. Over the past Hope & District council Mayors have promoted a Protocol Agreement between our governments — which has yet to be concluded.
The memorandum was presented to council in chambers at a Mar. 14 meeting.
The MOU proposes that the District of Hope and the Chawathil First Nation promote cooperative relationships amongst one another as well as neighbouring Bands.
This includes mutual respect for each party’s mandates and policies, mutual respect for respective areas of jurisdictions, and cooperation in the exchange, development and implementation of projects of mutual interest, as well as the acknowledgement that good relations between neighbours are required for all citizens to benefit.
The motion was carried by council endorsing the draft protocol agreement and that council directs negotiations to be undertaken to finalize this and other protocol agreements with First Nation groups with whom there are shared interests and relations.
“Negotiations are in the works as we move forward with feedback from Chawathil First Nation, on the protocol, and as we look to incorporating and working with other First Nation groups in the community.
“We hope documents such as this one will help provide opportunities to promote relationship building between parties, including economic development, natural resource management and cooperative land use planning wherever possible,” said Mayor Wilfried Vicktor.