The Sunshine Coast Regional District and the shishalh Nation have decided to adopt what they are calling a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on water in the region.
According to the district, details of the MOU outline a framework for a potential reservoir on the shishalh Nation gravel lands and shows a joint commitment to address the water supply across the region.
Chief of shishalh Nation Lenora Joe says the adoption of the agreement reflects work done by their ancestors for stewardship of the land.
“The shishalh Nation is proud to be carrying on the tradition of our ancestors as protectors of water and stewards of the land,” Joe says. “We are excited to work alongside the SCRD on a joint goal of safe sustainable water for everyone in the Nation’s swiya.”
According to the MOU, everyone in the district, including shishalh, have experienced water shortages for some years and this will outline a plan for continued opportunities to expand potable water access and supply.
SCRD chair Leonard Lee says the agreement is one of collaboration and shows working together will strengthen the community.
“Through the water summit meetings held in 2023 we have agreed that we’re stronger and can work faster together,” he says. “We must strive to foster a sustainable future where water is used responsibly for the benefit of both present and future generations.”
The district says the MOU shows a need for collaboration as the region grows and the need to work together to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.