At the August 2009 All-Chiefs’ Assembly, a First Nations Task Force was struck to build upon the Assembly’s outcomes by developing a short-term and urgent Action Plan to: 1) raise awareness and recognition of Aboriginal title and rights at the provincial, national and international levels (as well as with the general public), and including by establishing a direct action committee and strategy to take advantage of the window of opportunity created by the 2010 Olympics; and, 2) better organize ourselves internally as First Nations in British Columbia to work together on issues of common concern. The Task Force developed an action plan, building upon previous efforts including the All Our Relations Action Plan, which was adopted in principle by resolution of the BCAFN in October 2009.
The All Chiefs’ Task Force (ACTF) has completed its work and made recommendations for assisting in setting the priority issues that First Nations wish to address with BC and Canada over the coming year. The ACTF has also prepared a revised Mandate Statement and Terms of Reference in conjunction with the FNLC and an Accountability Framework which seeks to promote unity and formalize the responsibility of the FNLC, First Nation Councils, working groups and committees and partner organizations in BC to Nations in BC, and is rooted in the FNLC Terms of Reference. The Accountability Framework sets out scope and applicability principles and tools and procedures for the FNLC, Councils, working groups and committees and partner organizations, as well as guidelines for conflict of interest, dispute resolution, and recall. The report and recommendations of the FNTF seek to guide the future work of the FNLC and its collaboration with the various councils, working groups committees and partner organizations in BC with the ultimate objective to improve the lives of Nations in BC and support our people. The purpose of the November/December 2010 BCAFN - All Chiefs’ Assembly was to provide a forum for First Nations to consider the final report and recommendations of the ACTF and endorse the FNLC Terms of Reference and Accountability Framework.
The interim BC First Nations Fisheries Council was formed in late 2007 by First Nations as an outcome of the BC First Nations Fisheries Action Plan which was adopted by resolution of the BCAFN, FNS, and UBCIC in 2006. The First Nations Fisheries Council incorporated as of April 1, 2009.
The First Nations Forestry Council, endorsed by resolution, incorporated as an independent society, and composed of a 7-member Board of Directors (3 each appointed by the FNS and UBCIC, and 1 appointed by the BCAFN) is responsible for the implementation of the BC First Nations Mountain Pine Beetle Action Plan (adopted by resolution in 2005) and the BC First Nations Forestry and Land Stewardship Action Plan (adopted by resolution in 2008).
BCAFN, UBCIC, and FNS Chiefs in Assembly have passed resolutions approving a BC First Nations Energy Action Plan, and a BC First Nations Mineral Exploration and Mining Action Plan. Resolutions have also been passed assigning responsibility for the implementation of these Action Plans to the BC First Nations Energy and Mining Council (FNEMC) composed of one representative each appointed by the BCAFN, FNS and UBCIC. The FNEMC has incorporated as a society and is sharing office space and overhead costs with the First Nations Forestry Council.
The First Nations Child and Family Wellness Council (FNCFWC) has been established (resolution of support for its terms of reference adopted in 2009), composed of a maximum of 15 First Nations representatives (3 each in 5 provincial regions). The FNCFWC’s mandate is to finalize and commence the implementation of the Indigenous Child at the Centre Action Plan (adopted by resolution in 2009) and to recommend a permanent structure for the Council.
The internal Working Group of the Joint Working Group on First Nations Heritage Conservation circulated a draft First Nations Heritage Action Plan (“Action Plan”) to all First Nations in early February, 2011, and sought further feedback at the First Nations Heritage Forum on February 22nd and 23rd, 2011. An amended version was circulated in March 2011, and input collected again. Currently, the Internal Working Group is streamlining the Action Plan for implementation, and will circulate a third version to First Nations for final input in late July, 2011. Following this final round of input, the Internal Working Group will bring the Action Plan to the BC Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Summit, and UBCIC Chiefs Council for ratification at their respective meetings. The Internal Working Group aims to produce a streamlined Action Plan that will be highly useful to First Nations and that reflects the capacity of the JWGFNHC.
The First Nations Justice Action Plan was approved by resolution of the BCAFN, FNS and UBCIC, and included a terms of reference for a Justice Council. An interim Justice Council (Working Group) was established in March 2009 to progress the establishment of the First Nations Justice Council which will implement the First Nations Justice Plan. The interim working group has met once in August 2009 and is moving towards developing an interim budget and work plan for the Justice Council.
In mid-2007, in follow-up to BCAFN, FNS and UBCIC resolutions, a First Nations Economic Development Working Group was struck which coordinated engagement with First Nations to develop a BC First Nations Economic Development Action Plan and a BC First Nations Economic Development Council concept paper (both adopted by resolutions). The Working Group is open to any organizations interested in joining and able to contribute, and currently includes: First Nations representatives (i.e. Regional Program Management Advisory Committee members and other First Nations representatives); First Nations political organizations (BCAFN, FNS, UBCIC); First Nations economic development organizations (i.e. Industry Council for Aboriginal Business, Aboriginal Tourism BC, etc.); First Nations training and education organizations (i.e. First Nations Human Resource & Labour Council, Native Education College, University of Victoria, etc.); federal and provincial governments. Pending the current work being undertaken by the First Nations Task Force, the Economic Development Working Group is not proceeding on further Economic Development Council development at this time.