Established in 2007, the purpose and mandate of the Joint Working Group on First Nations Heritage Conservation (JWGFNHC) is to identify First Nations’ issues and concerns, develop options and make recommendations to: (1) enable a meaningful role for First Nations in provincial heritage conservation and (2) improve the provincial protection and conservation of First Nations burial sites, sacred sites and heritage sites in the spirit of the New Relationship and the Transformative Change Accord.
Following this mandate the JWGFNHC is happy to announce the launch of an Invitation for Proposals to the first pilot project to implement Section 4 of the Heritage Conservation Act (HCA) Section 4 of the HCA provides for agreements between the Province and First Nations with respect to the conservation and protection of heritage sites and heritage objects that represent the cultural heritage of the First Nation. A section 4 agreement would provide effective recognition, respect, protection and conservation of First Nations cultural heritage sites as is permitted within existing law. The successful applicant to this project will be involved in the first agreement of this type.
The outcomes of this pilot project, which will run for approximately one year, will be reviewed and evaluated to determine both the effectiveness of the section 4 agreement as a means to protect and conserve heritage sites and objects, and the whether this type of agreement served as a successful method for First Nations to participate in heritage conservation. Based on the evaluation and program review, a decision will be made as to whether additional section 4 agreements will be negotiated in the future.
We are asking all interested First Nations to review the selection criteria and submit their proposal by March 18, 2016 for consideration. Only one project will be selected for this pilot.
Please find enclosed copies of the Invitation for Proposals, the selection criteria and readiness checklist, a copy of section 4 of the HCA, and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). The Act can be found at the following link (http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/00_96187_01 If you have further comments or questions, please contact Matthew Norris at Matthew@ubcic.bc.ca or Justine Batten at Justine.Batten@gov.bc.ca.
On behalf of the Joint Working Group on First Nations Heritage Conservation,