Just a few more months remain until the Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k:tles7et’h’ First Nation (KCFN) joins the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) board as a full member with all the associated voting rights.
This is the culmination of a lengthy process started with the Maa-nulth First Nations Final Agreement, a treaty KCFN signed on July 24, 2008. KCFN is located on the outer coast of Kyuquot Sound on Vancouver Island’s west coast. Under that Treaty with the provincial and federal governments, signatory nations are allowed the opportunity to participate in regional district governments. Since 2013, KCFN have been at the board table but only as observers. This change allows them to sit on the board as full members with voting and debate rights. KCFN are the first First Nation to sit at the SRD board table. The other Maa-nulth treaty signatory Nations including the Huu-ay-aht, Ucluelet (Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ), Uchucklesaht Tribe Government and Toquaht Nations all sit on the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District board.
Kevin Jules, an elected legislative council member of the KCFN, will be stepping up as director when the Nation joins the SRD in April.
“It’s a very long time coming, and I’m very very fortunate to be a part of it,” Jules said. “It’s pretty big. It’s a new experience for everyone. Just being a part of it is showing that we are moving in the right direction in reconciliation, being heard, being recognized and it’s a big move for our Nation and the SRD.”
Jules has been KCFN’s representative at the board for just over a year. He and other representatives have been meeting with the SRD to hammer out the details of the transition every couple of weeks.
“A lot of it is to figure out what services we’ll be looking into when we become a part of the SRD, what we need and what other services that could help benefit us.”
After almost ten years of work, Jules says he is excited to be starting a new chapter of his Nation’s history.
“I feel really honoured. It’s definitely a step in the right direction. It’ll be a big part of our Nation’s history, and being recognized is very very humbling. I’m just thrilled,” he said.
The official date of KCFN joining the board is April 1, 2021.