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Lake Babine Nation, Canada sign agreement to support infrastructure priorities for Wit’at and Tachet communities

A $50-million-dollar funding agreement has been struck between the Lake Babine Nation and the federal government.

It will support priorities identified by Wit’at and Tachet communities.

In addition, the money is also in relation to an agreement signed in September of 2020, between Lake Babine Nation and the province called the Foundation Agreement.

It is a framework agreement that lays out a pathway to implement the First Nation’s constitutional rights over a 20- year period through capacity building, shared initiatives, and further negotiations.

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It also contains commitments from the province to support the first phase of implementation, which includes the transfer of 20,000 hectares of provincial Crown land, forestry tenures, and approximately $43 million in funding contributions.

“The Foundation Agreement is Lake Babine’s roadmap to independence from the devastating impacts of colonialism. For many years, Lake Babine has been building relationships with the provincial and federal governments to develop partnerships that will strengthen the future of our communities and the next generation.”

“ Lake Babine appreciates this significant federal contribution, and this is the beginning of Canada’s commitment to the Foundation Agreement. We will use this funding to start preparing for self-government with the guidance of our community and urban members and to start strengthening our remote communities of Wit’at (Fort Babine) and Tachet by providing an indoor space for our members to hold community and cultural events.” – Chief Murphy Abraham, Lake Babine Nation.

The funding will assist Lake Babine Nation to support governance capacity by hiring specialized employees to build land capacity, manage spending, identify priority program improvements and develop a restorative justice strategy.

Lake Babine Nation has just shy of 2,600 registered members with approximately half living on reserve.

Their traditional territory covers roughly 1.4 million hectares of land in BC’s northern interior, which includes 28 Indian Reserves, mostly located around Babine Lake.

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