First Nations get a spot at SRD table

The Strathcona Regional District is preparing to establish a spot at its board table for select First Nations representatives

The Strathcona Regional District is preparing to establish a spot at its board table for select First Nations representatives.

In an historic vote at its March 13 board meeting, regional district directors elected to make a change to the board’s procedure bylaw which will recognize participation at the board meeting by treaty First Nations.

The change allows First Nations which have reached final agreement through the treaty process to designate a representative as an associate member of the regional district board until they are able to appoint a director.

Tom Yates, corporate services manager of the regional district, said treaty First Nations have the right to sit on regional government boards.

“The ability of a treaty First Nation to participate as a member of a regional district is set out in Part 24: Division 3.1 of the Local Government Act,” Yates said in a report to the board.

In the Strathcona Regional District area, that criteria applies to the Kyuquot/Checleseht First Nation.

While the representative will have a designated spot on the board, he or she will only have observer status.

That means the First Nations representative will have a seat reserved at the board table and while the representative will have the ability to participate in debate and submit items to be included on the meeting’s agenda, the representative cannot vote, move or second a motion.

The member will only be included in the regional board and committee of the whole meetings and will not be able to participate in other regional district meetings such as the Strathcona Gardens Commission or Electoral Area Services Committee.