Vancouver Island First Nations gather for summit

The environment and marine safety focus of summit taking place in Sooke

T'Sou-ke Chief Gordon Planes

Protection of the environment is a number one priority for the T’Sou-ke First Nation said Chief Gordon Planes.

On March 25 and 26, over 50 First Nations communities will connect at an event organized by the T’Sou-ke First Nation around marine safety and risk reduction.

Recognizing the increasing level and pace of resource development happening along B.C.’s coast, T’Sou-ke Nation Chief, Gordon Planes saw a need to bring Island representatives together and consider opportunities and risks.

“It’s all about what Kinder Morgan is doing to us, it’s all about information. We intervened in the Kinder Morgan process,” said Planes. “The environment is number one. If we’re not looking at it, it’s an accident waiting to happen. It worries us — look at how beautiful this place is.”

The T’Sou-ke Nation Marine Safety and Risk Reduction Summit will be a forum to share ideas about marine safety, as well as habitat protection and restoration in the context energy development and a growth in employment and training opportunities for West Coast First Nations.

The Summit will feature a series of workshops led by representatives from federal and provincial governments, as well as relevant non-government agencies and training bodies. Participants will also attend an Oil Spill Response presentation.

One delegate from each Island First Nation community is invited to attend the Summit. In this way, it will also be an opportunity for integration and strategy development among First Nations in the region.

The Summit is free for Island First Nations delegates to attend, but registration is required. For more information about the event, visit www.tsouke.com.

The T’Sou-ke Marine Safety and Risk Reduction Summit is hosted by the T’Sou-ke Nation, with the financial support of the Major Project’s Management Office – West (MPMO West). MPMO- West is a new office of the federal government, reporting to the Minister of Natural Resources and intended to serve as an avenue for First Nations to engage with Government of Canada on issues related to West Coast energy infrastructure development.