Chief Don Tom Advocates For Tsartlip’s Concerns at First Nation Leadership Gathering

Tsartlip rejects excessive development, works to improve the Tsartlip boat ramp, and discusses Máwueć and Bear Mountain at the 2022 First Nation Leadership Gathering.

(Shown above Yetsa Olsen, MLA Adam Olsen, Chief Don Tom, Administrator Victor Rumbolt at the First Nation’s Leadership Gathering)

The 2022 First Nation Leadership gathering took place November 29-30 on the territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) at the Vancouver Convention Centre West. The Gathering is a partnership between the First Nations Leadership Council and the Government of British Columbia.

Tsartlip’s participation included four meetings with four ministries regarding topics critical to the Tsartlip community, including meetings with the Ministry of Energy Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, the Ministry of Transportation, the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. Chief Tom led all meetings.

Tsartlip rejects Bamberton Quarry and Saanich Inlet Foreshore expansions applications

Tsartlip First Nation and the Minister of Energy Mines and Low Carbon Innovation met to discuss the Bamberton Quarry and Saanich Inlet Foreshore applications for expansion. Both applications propose industrial expansion on the traditional territories of Tsartlip First Nation. This expansion would infringe on Tsartlip’s constitutionally protected rights to hunt and fish as formerly. Tsartlip rejects these proposals as they stand, and requests that the minister engage in a high level of consultation with Tsartlip before deciding either proposal. MLA Adam Olsen, Mayor Ryan Windsor, Victor Rumbolt, Yetsa Olson, and Chief Tom were in attendance. Mayor Windsor also attended a meeting with Minister Ralston to support Tsartlip community’s concerns regarding the proposed expansions. 

Tsartlip requests support to improve Boat Ramp Facilities

The meeting with the Minister of Transportation, Rob Fleming, was regarding Tsartlip’s application in the B.C. Active Transportation Infrastructure Grants Program for 2023-2024. Tsartlip is seeking $500,000 to improve the Tsartlip Boat Ramp. If funded, Tsartlip will build a washroom with a shower and an active transportation locker facility at the Boat Ramp. Tsartlip Chief and Council passed a band council resolution in support of the application. Victor Rumbolt, Yetsa Olson, MLA Adam Olsen, and Chief Tom were among those in attendance at the meeting. 

Tsartlip needs additional remediation at Máwueć

During the meeting with Minister Murray Rankin of the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, Tsartlip discussed the contamination and remediation of Máwueć. When BC transferred Máwueć back to Tsartlip in 2020, the Province funded the remediation of known contamination on Máwueć. During the remediation process, Tsartlip discovered further contamination. Tsartlip cannot complete the process of adding Máwueć to Tsartlip reserve until remediation is complete. Therefore, Chief Don Tom has requested that the Province provide $900,000 to cover the cost of additional remediation.

Bear Mountain Concerns Discussed

The final meeting, between Tsartlip and the Minister of Municipal Affairs, was regarding  Tsartlip’s land on Bear Mountain. The attendees articulated their general concerns and goals regarding Bear Mountain and discussed options moving forward. Dan Matthews – the owner of much of the property on Bear Mountain – attended the meeting. Victor Rumbolt, Yetsa Olson, MLA Adam Olsen, and Chief Tom were also in attendance. 

Tsartlip looks forward to the positive outcomes these meetings will create for Tsartlip community. 

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