North Cowichan council’s previous decision to pause public engagement to facilitate First Nations consultations remains in effect.

North Cowichan council’s previous decision to pause public engagement to facilitate First Nations consultations remains in effect.

North Cowichan developing Memorandum of Understanding with Cowichan Nation on Forest Reserve

Public engagement remains on hold until a way of moving forward can be determined

North Cowichan is working to develop and sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Cowichan Nation as part of ongoing government-to-government consultations on the Municipal Forest Reserve.

Since the end of August, North Cowichan mayor Al Siebring and council have been meeting with the chiefs and key staff members of the Cowichan Nation. The Cowichan Nation is comprised of Cowichan Tribes, Halalt First Nation, Stz’uminus First Nation, Penelakut Tribe and Lyackson First Nation.

Related story: First Nations consultation on the future of the Municipal Forest Reserve moves ahead

Developing and signing an MOU signifies the commitment by both parties to continue meeting and discussing activities in the Municipal Forest Reserve. In alignment with council’s previous decision to pause public engagement to facilitate First Nations consultations, the public engagement will remain on hold until a way of moving forward is agreed upon during the First Nations consultation process.

“I am pleased to announce that we are working towards this MOU,” noted Siebring. “Over the past few months, we have been meeting and focusing on building a relationship with the Cowichan Nation to better understand their interests in the forest reserve. This MOU will represent a significant milestone in our consultations.”

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North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring. (Photo by Robert Barron/Cowichan Valley Citizen)

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring. (Photo by Robert Barron/Cowichan Valley Citizen)