The Kitkatla First Nation has set up a blockade at the port in Oona River to prevent barges used by the logging industry on Porcher Island from being loaded with more timber.
Sorry for just the link. I didn’t have anything nice to say, but I am curious to read others comments on this situation.
I don’t see why they haven’t been granted a license? I think that they should be entitled to the rights of there resources considering the extraction is happening in there backyard. I do believe though that upon being granted a license they should abide by the regulations implemented by the NCFD and thus compete in the open market. If they can bring a viable business strategy to compete in the free market it will benefit not only the band but the region as a whole.
Maybe other First Nations should blockade Kitkatla and stop them from expoiting their neighbours, and taking foods and resources from areas which they have no business in.
This is a pretty touchy issue for either side. I understand Kitkatlas side, in that the cedar trees are sacred. However, they had already signed off on it, and from what I have gathered this may be an illegal blockade. The only jobs in Oona river are the logging, so this means that everyone that lives out there has lost their jobs. This has been a long standing industry in that community, and it being their only source of industry and jobs, I really feel for the people that live there. I have spent a lot of time in Oona myself, and its a wonderful little place. I would hate to see it go away because of this.
That’s a good question. In 2004 Kitkatla and the Ministry of Forests entered into a “Forest Agreement” under which two forest licences were to be offered to Kitkatla (along with financial benefits). See section 3 of the agreement at this link: for.gov.bc.ca/haa/Docs/kitkatla_fra.pdf
From my understanding the Forest and Range Agreements are up for renegotiation after 5 years, and are of little to no economic value to the First Nations on the coast. I believe what Kitkatla wants is either a a area based tenure like a Community Forest liscence or a loan or something else from Gov’t to aqcuire an existing company on the north coast.
I see on page 8 of the Forest Agreement I linked below that Kitkatla was to receive $797,000 a year for the life of the agreement, which seems to be some pretty good economic value. It seems odd that they would also want a loan to buy a forest company, which I don’t imagine are particularly hot sellers on the North Coast these days; perhaps some bargains are available.
It’s also interesting what you say about Kitkatla wanting an area based tenure. On pg 6 it says that Kitkatla and the Ministry were to work together to identify licence areas. Perhaps the problem wasn’t that forest tenures were not available - they evidently were - but the preferred form of tenure was not on offer. This story seems to be in the ‘go figure’ category, but it’s good to get your insights nonetheless.
Free money is free money, the actual amount of wood made available to the First Nations through the FRA’s does not provide enough profit to warrant cutting trees on the North Coast.
The MOF was working with many FN’s to try to look for chrt areas but existing forest companies have all the prime areas locked up. Most FRA’s ended up being exactly what you pointed out, a $ figure going to the bands, and that is it, no forestry related jobs or any opportunity for the FN’s to enter into the industry because of shitty market, the reduction of the cut on the North Coast and and companies unwilling to reduce ther chart areas in accordance with the reduced cut.
So if Kitkatla gets timber who is going to log it? They don’t even own a chain saw!So they get a contractor to log it for them.So why not let the people that own the equipment get the timber sales.And timber sales are NOT chart areas.If they are registered they could bid on a sale.But,no,they would sooner blockade the only logging going on on the North Coast.Get real!Or better yet,get a job!
one brother works for Kitkatla as band administrator and another owns a logging company. can you say ," CONFLICT OF INTEREST"
[quote=“chiefdave”]Free money is free money, the actual amount of wood made available to the First Nations through the FRA’s does not provide enough profit to warrant cutting trees on the North Coast. …
Most FRA’s ended up being exactly what you pointed out, a $ figure going to the bands, and that is it, no forestry related jobs or any opportunity for the FN’s to enter into the industry because of shitty market, the reduction of the cut on the North Coast and companies unwilling to reduce ther chart areas in accordance with the reduced cut.[/quote]
That’s a bit difficult to square with some other history. Not long before Kitkatla was offered two licences, Metlakatla was offered 50,000 m3 under a similar arrangement. Metlkatla accepted the offer, obviously worked with the ministry to deal with the paperwork and plans, logged under the licence (on the other side of the harbour) and by all accounts performed satisfactorily.
Meanwhile, Kitkatla was offered a much larger cut (375,000 m3). They undertook in the agreement to “work with” ministry personnel (the commitment is on pg 6). The Ministry committed to and presumably paid $3,985,000 ($797,000 X 5) over five years; more than enough to hire some suitable help one would think, even leaving aside, we are told, that they have had an experienced forestry person on their senior staff. Yet, even with those advantages, they’ve failed where another first nation has succeeded. Why is that?
Perhaps recent events at Oona River illustrate that at least some of the problem isn’t with the Ministry of Forests at all, but with the band’s leadership style. A strategy based on parking a seine boat to hinder the operations of an innocent third party seems a rather unsophisticated, even thuggish way of going about things; a commercial hostage-taking. Little wonder the level of cooperation that is required to resolve the technicalities around a forest licence has not been achieved.
My other thought on reading Northern View’s account is that chief Moodie’s concerns seem to be entirely about what the government should be doing, with nothing said about the band’s commitments. As well as agreeing to “work with” the Ministry, Kitkatla committed to the following words on pg 13 of the agreement:
“7.1 If a dispute arises between the Government of British Columbia and Kitkatla regarding the interpretation of a provision of this Agreement, the Parties or their duly appointed representatives will meet as soon as is practicable to attempt to resolve the dispute.”
I have no problems with the government entering into deals with local first nations that are no doubt here for the long term, unlike some companies that have come here, taken wealth out of the forests and the sea, then disappeared. But I don’t see the Ministry being in a position to do anything more until Kitkatla starts honouring their part of the bargain, which is to “work with” and “meet”, not place seine boats to block public waterways and harm the well being of third parties.
Hopefully the people of Kitkatla will demand something more from their leaders than what they seem to be getting. Or put more starkly, hopefully the people will seek something more in return for the salaries they pay, which by some accounts are more than generous.
Exactly right. Elmer Moody stated that they were bargaining " in good faith " but after reading your post and adding it to other stuff I have heard I some how doubt there was a lot of good faith going on here.
I wont get into comparing the two First Nations and the obvious different appraoches to leadership, except, to point out one fundamental difference between the two, one of them has a Economic Developement Office and one doesnt, meaning one of the First Nations have their band elected leaders making some decisions about money, the other seperates the politics from the business. Take a guess which is which.
As for dealing in good faith, I doubt their is any of that going on, from either side, and neither has ever shown that they are capable of it.
According to the Public Accounts (available online), during fiscal year 2009/10 Kitkatla received $697,375 from the Ministry of Forests, all or most of that money being ‘revenue sharing’ under the Forest Agreement . The government’s policy is to share with bands some of the government’s forest revenue. Presumably that money can be spent on consultation expenses and business plans among other things.
I don’t have problem with that concept, but it really doesn’t seem to make any sense around here.
According to government reports (also available online), during fiscal year 2009/10 a total of 112.3 m3 was harvested in the North Coast Forest District and the government collected $1336.36 in stumpage. Here’s a link to the source:
www15.for.gov.bc.ca/hbs/ReportD … 250128.pdf
April to October 2010 was slightly better. A grand total of 17,544.1 m3 was harvested in the North Coast Forest District and the government collected $11,440.16 in stumpage. www15.for.gov.bc.ca/hbs/ReportD … 250129.pdf
I don’t think these figures would come as a surprise to anyone. Other than a few small operations scattered here and there that cost the government more to administer than it collects in revenue, the forest industry on the North Coast is finished. Little wonder, by the way, that this town no longer has a forestry office, notwithstanding the Mayor’s entreaties that it should.
So let’s step back and take an overview. During one fiscal year the government collects $1336.36 in revenue and “shares” $697,375 of that with Kitkatla. Yet, we are asked to believe that the Ministry of Forests has acted in “bad faith” in its dealings with Kitkatla, so much so that they have no recourse but to blockade a logging business in Oona River that is so obscure that we don’t even know its name.
Well, I don’t know what to make of this. I’m almost at a lost for words. One thing that I can say, though, is that I doubt that I’ll be shopping at Kitkatla’s business in town, RONA, anytime soon.
I am in no way advocating for Kitkatla, far from actually, but, there are definately other factors in at play in the dollar amounts you are refferring.
Firstly revenue sharing is not exactly a defined term, simply meaning that I don’t think the numbers are based on the revenue for any particular year. Rather the dollar amounts were negotiated based on the negotiators skills and, secondly the assumption of Rights and Title not being recognized(over time or ever). Something like compensation, without actually compensating…I guess.
so if Kitkatla was “given” over $600,000 for doing FA one wonder they have no incentive to do anything. “Get your money for nothing and your chicks for free.” Meanwhile Group Mills is caught between the Damn Government and the restless natives.
They will likely be bankrupt if this crap goes on much longer. But who cares, Right!
[quote=“highrigger”]so if Kitkatla was “given” over $600,000 for doing FA one wonder they have no incentive to do anything. “Get your money for nothing and your chicks for free.” Meanwhile Group Mills is caught between the Damn Government and the restless natives.
They will likely be bankrupt if this crap goes on much longer. But who cares, Right![/quote]
We aren’t restless, we’re lazy, or was it greedy, I can’t keep track anymore. Anyway, it seems that you need to have beetle ravaged wood to make any money around here these days.