Ecotrust Canada foresters and planners provided support to Tsleil-Waututh staff who handled the ecoforestry management plan and on-the-ground implementation for FSC® certification.
“The FSC® certification represents a major milestone for us,” said Leah George-Wilson, then director of Treaty, Land and Resources and now Chief of the Tsleil-Waututh. “We are very proud of our achievement in bringing a workable eco-forestry operation to even a small portion of coastal BC. Our staff, as well as our partners at Ecotrust Canada, have taken our dream of practicing ecosystembased management in the Indian River valley and made it a reality.”
The Tsleil-Waututh is the second First Nation in BC to receive the globally recognized FSC® certification for socially and environmentally responsible forestry. The first was Iisaak Forest Resources in Clayoquot Sound.
Inlailawatash Holdings Ltd. is a wholly owned company of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation with headquarters in North Vancouver. The company owns the private forestlands in the Indian River Valley, which include western hemlock, western red cedar, Douglas fir and Sitka spruce.
The Tsleil-Waututh’s forestry operation met the FSC® certification standards for British Columbia and took advantage of the FSC® initiative to create more streamlined procedures for the certification of small and low-intensity managed forests (otherwise known as SLIMF). The full assessment report is available from either the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation or SmartWood, the independent certifying agency.
Traditional council members Ernie George and Richard George played a key role in developing the overall vision for resource stewardship in their traditional territory. Funding for the certification project was provided by the Squamish District of the BC Ministry of Forests, Canada’s First Nation Forestry Program, Ecotrust Canada, and VanCity, among others.