B.C. forestry modernization plan calls for big boost in Indigenous participation

The province is currently facing significant pressures on its supply of timber owing to wildfires, the pine beetle infestation and withdrawals from the timber-harvesting land baseGetty Images

By: Tyler Orton

The provincial government is promising to boost Indigenous engagement in forestry as it sets out on the largest series of policy updates for the sector since the early 2000s.

Victoria’s plans would see it double the amount of replaceable forest tenure held by Indigenous nations from the current levels of 10%, according to the strategy unveiled on Tuesday.

“It’s absolutely vital we do not repeat the colonial activities of the past and dictate to First Nations what they do in their territories,” B.C. Premier John Horgan said during a media briefing, later invoking last week’s horrifying discovery of 215 Indigenous children’s bodies at the site of a former Kamloops residential school.