Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined First Nations leaders Thursday to announce a partnership with 14 B.C. North Coast First Nations in managing and protecting marine ecosystems along two-thirds of B.C.’s north coast.
The press conference, held in Prince Rupert, was scheduled to mark National Indigenous Peoples Day.
<a href=”https://twitter.com/JustinTrudeau?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@JustinTrudeau</a> in Prince Rupert for announcement about ocean protection today <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/cbcnews?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#cbcnews</a> <a href=”https://t.co/lqUnd5slT3″>pic.twitter.com/lqUnd5slT3</a>
The agreement which falls under the $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan, and was framed as a step toward Indigenous reconciliation.
“This is a very big day for both reconciliation and the environment for Canada.” said Trudeau.
“Ocean’s protection must be indigenous led,” said Heiltsuk Chief Marily Stett, whose nation was affected by the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill. “Those with relationship to the ocean should be charged with responding to threats to the ocean.”
Trudeau said another announcement around marine mammal conservation was coming tomorrow.
Heiltsuk Chief Marilyn Slett says the agreement is an encouraging and positive step forward <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/NationalIndigenousDay?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#NationalIndigenousDay</a> <a href=”https://t.co/MpEgYjChup”>pic.twitter.com/MpEgYjChup</a>