Long- term benefits have been ensured for Líl̓wat Nation with the signing of the Whistler Blackcomb Master Development Agreement.
Today, at noon at the Squanish-Lí́l̓wat Cultural Centre, Chief Dean Nelson (Kúkwpi7 Skalúlmecw) will join representatives from Whistler Blackcomb, the Province of British Columbia, Squamish Nation, and the Resort Municipality of Whistler in signing a ceremonial declaration commemorating the signing of the Master Development Agreement.
The Líl̓wat Nation Communications Team is pleased to share the press release that was sent out this morning to local media to mark this historic event.
FOR RELEASE FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2017
Líl̓wat Nation signs 60-year agreements with Whistler Blackcomb and Province
Long-term benefits ensured for BC’s 3rd largest First Nation
MOUNT CURRIE – Líl̓wat Nation has moved closer to its goal of becoming a diversified and sustainable community. The Nation has entered into agreements with Whistler Blackcomb and the Province in relation to the new Whistler Blackcomb Master Development Agreements and updated Master Plans. The agreements ensure both long-term economic and social benefit for the community, as a result of a negotiation process characterized as “fair and inclusive.”
“Líl̓wat Nation being recognized as a respected partner in the Master Development Agreement negotiations demonstrates the progress the Nation has made in our relationships with Whistler Blackcomb and the Province. By signing these 60-year agreements we are ensuring that Líl̓wat Nation realizes long-term economic benefits through its stakeholder position in development undertaken by Whistler Blackcomb on unceded Lílwat territory,” said Chief Dean Nelson (Kúkwpi7 Skalúlmecw). “We hope this spirit of fair negotiation has also laid the foundation for how we also move forward with the Resort Municipality of Whistler in the next phase of development.”
The agreements address Líl̓wat Nation’s economic and cultural concerns by providing revenue sharing, employment and procurement opportunities, as well as future development partnerships, enhanced cultural protections, and recognition on the mountains. In addition, the agreements provide support for Lil’wat education and training and great recreational opportunities for the community’s children and youth.
Both Chief Nelson, a former teacher of the Xetlacw Community School, and Councillor Rosemary Stager, health director with the Southern Stl’atl’imx Health Society, see the agreements as having positive impacts on the lives of Li̓lwat children.
“We have elders here today who grew up in Whistler and were removed as children. We are happy that these agreements give our children the opportunity to enjoy their traditional territory as so many fellow Canadians and tourists do and to also participate and benefit from the economic benefits it generates, as it always should have been,” says Councillor Rosemary Stager (Tsekonámus Losí), who co-led negotiations for Líl̓wat. “This is a story about what truth and reconciliation could look like, it’s a step in the right direction for everyone involved.”
The cultural sharing and learning that accompanied the negotiation process have also created stronger ties between the Nation and Whistler Blackcomb.
“We are proud to celebrate this important day with the Líl̓wat Nation and look forward to continuing to learn more about its rich culture and connection to the Whistler area,” said Whistler Blackcomb President and CEO Dave Brownlie. “Our partnership is unique and we are excited by the opportunities it will bring.”