This is a guest post written by Harriet van Wart who leads the Land and Resources Department for the Lil’wat Nation, reflecting on the first ever team takeover for the Wellness Almanac. It was inspiring to meet the team and get a glimpse at the work they do.
I was really excited when Lisa invited the Lil’wat Land and Resources Department to do a one-week take over of the Wellness Almanac Instagram.
Good morning! This week the Lil'wat Land and Resources Department is doing the Instagram take over! We are very exited to share photos about what we do. Here's the team, from left: me (Harriet), Lex, Carrie, Bobbi-Jo, Johnny, Maxine, and Casey with the selfie skills. (Fish techs are already in the field – you'll see them later)
It is easy sometimes to just keep your head down and plug away at the day-to-day. The Instagram take over was a nice opportunity (and nudge) to take some time out to share what our department is all about.
Not enough people recognize or appreciate how involved Lil’wat is in managing it’s Territory.
There is a broad scope of work that the Lil’wat Land and Resources Department takes on.
We engage in projects, consultations, negotiations and governing decisions throughout Lil’wat Territory – all 800,000 hectares. This can feel daunting, but looking back the Land and Resources Department has accomplished a lot since it was created in 2003.
We have Land Use Plan for the whole Lil’wat Territory. We run our own traditional land holding system to register lands on-reserve.
We have a Consultation Policy that guides our engagement with governments and other organizations on consultations about land use throughout Lil’wat Territory.
Our department has worked over the years with the sea to sky trail committee. A great outcome of this is seeing the Ucwalmicwts name used for the S2S trail through Lil'wat Territory. Kaxwisxala means "smile of relief" and was traditionally used to describe the trail bringing people north toward whistler. It described the look on people's face as they reached the summit.
We have completed a number of Impact Benefit Agreements that bring revenue to the Lil’wat Nation, as well as specific measures of protections for the land and cultural sites. We have secured agreements with the Province for the protection of numerous areas in the Territory, including sacred places such as Mk’walts (Ure Creek).
We have also cultivated seasonal employment opportunities for Lil’wat people to be fisheries technicians and environmental monitors – getting Lil’wat people out on the land, and being stewards of their territory.
The Land and Resources Department is an amazing place to work.
This is Carrie Lester, our Referral Coordinator. She deals with all the consultation letters we receive from governments and companies proposing new land use activities within Lil'wat Territory. Lil'wat Territory is almost 800,000 hectares and we deal with about 100 new referrals each year. Some referrals take years to resolve.
We have a great team of staff and we all take a lot of pride in the work we do.
I hope our photos and postings shed some light on that.