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The W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council is working on developing a Marine and Land Use Plan for the W̱SÁNEC people that will help guide us under a unified vision for the marine/land environment and protect the W̱SÁNEĆ way of life. It will help identify appropriate strategies to assert and affirm W̱SÁNEĆ authority and presence throughout the territory. This is a multi-year (5+) initiative that will identify community goals and priorities regarding Douglas Treaty Rights, Aboriginal Rights and title, and appropriate strategies to assert and affirm W̱SÁNEĆ authority and presence throughout the territory.

The Marine and Land Use Plan is community based, community driven, and reflects who we are as W̱SÁNEĆ people, with W̱SÁNEĆ law and teachings as the foundation. This is an opportunity for you and your family to be involved in participatory decision-making processes regarding issues that directly impact your life and your family’s lives for future generations. Please fill out the survey to express your opinions on the future of marine and land use planning for the W̱SÁNEĆ people.

What is a Marine Use Plan?

A Marine and Land Use Plan (MLUP) is a tool that can be used to better manage human activities happening within marine and terrestrial environments while balancing the impacts our activities have on those environments and ecosystems. The goal is to protect marine and terrestrial environments by applying a more holistic, integrated approach to help us make informed decisions and be better stewards of the lands and waters in the W̱SÁNEĆ territory.

The MLUP will help address some of the issues and concerns community members have on how the land and sea are being used (for recreation, fishing, tourism etc.). The Canadian Department of Fisheries (DFO) is in the early stages of doing a Regional (Southern Coast of BC) marine spatial plan (MSP) (See https://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/oceans/planning-planification/index-eng.html). 

Developing our own community-based MLUP can help place W̱SÁNEĆ values at the forefront of this larger planning process, and help identify appropriate measures early on, to protect and uphold Douglas Treaty and Indigenous rights, in accordance with UNDRIPA (United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act) laws and policies.

W̱SÁNEĆ people have a sacred responsibility to take care of the lands and waters and we should have more of a say on what happens in our territory. Developing this marine and land use plan for our territory is a useful tool to help us do that.

Why is this worth your time?

The purpose of this survey is to find out more about your opinions and attitudes regarding the marine and land environments and the future of our communities. As the original stewards of the lands and waters in our territory, we have a responsibility to plan ahead for future generations so they can continue to live the W̱SÁNEĆ way of life.

Below is an overview of all the topics for the W̱SÁNEĆ Marine and Land Use plan.

However, this survey will focus on Ocean Current 3. There will be opportunities for you to provide input on other ocean currents in future surveys, so stay tuned.

Ocean Current 1: QOMQOM S,EȽTÁLṈEW̱ TŦU MEQ SÁN (Community Health and Well Being)

Ocean Current 2: W̱SÁNEĆ SENĆOŦEN, SḴÁLS, ĆELAṈEN, W̱UĆISTEṈs (W̱SÁNEC language, law, culture, ancestral knowledge and teachings)

Ocean Current 3: SĆUÁTSET LA,E TŦE SCULHÁUTW̱ (Capacity building, education and training)

Ocean Current 4: W̱SÁNEĆ SNIUs E TŦE ÁLEṈENEȻ I TŦE TETÁTEN ḰO (W̱SÁNEĆ Governance and Stewardship Practices for Land and Sea)

Ocean Current 5: I ŦÁ,I ĆELÁṈEN I TŦE SḴÁLs ȽTE (Douglas Treaty, Indigenous Rights and title)

  • Subcurrent 1: Jurisdiction Issues – QENAȽ EȽ SĆȺ (Access management), ȽEQŚÁN EȽ SĆȺ (Commercial Fisheries), QENSTIṈ EȽ SĆȺ (Monitoring and Enforcement)

Ocean Current 6: ĆÁ,I TW̱ TŦE TEṈEW̱ ȽTE I ÍY,NOṈETs TŦE W̱ILṈEW̱ (Economic Development includes subtopics: Recreation and (Eco)Tourism)

Ocean Current 7: EWES ŚĆÍ,U ŚIŚEJ I TŦE ṮI SṈELṈÁṈET ĆSE LA,E TŦE TEṈEW̱ (Resources and extractive industries including shipping and vessel traffic)

  • Sub Current 1: ŦÁ,I TŦE ĆELÁṈEN E TŦE ÁLEṈ,ENEȻ (Food Sovereignty and Security)
  • Sub Current 2: QÁSET TŦE TEṈEW̱ SȻÁȻEL I TŦE ÍY,NOṈET TÁU,ṈEN (Climate change and alternative energy)
  • Sub Current 3: ṈENSET S,JOṈEȽ I TW̱E KELILETEW̱ TŦE TEṈEW̱ (Cumulative effects assessment)

Ocean Current 8: HIŦ LE ĆELÁṈEN I TŦE SELW̱ÁN ȽTE (Archaeological and heritage)

Your participation will help us identify community concerns and priorities for the Marine and Land Use Plan. Your input will help ensure the plan is culturally relevant, realistic and achievable, community-based, community-driven, and aligns with W̱SÁNEĆ laws.

The Survey will take you approximately 15-20 minutes to complete. Each participant who completes a survey with every question completed will be compensated with a $50 gift card for Thrifty Foods (or similar). 

You must provide your full mailing address to receive the gift card via mail. 

You must answer each question in the survey to be eligible for the gift card (incomplete surveys will not be eligible).

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