Central Coast First Nations marine use planning

Central Coast First Nations have been sustainably managing the natural resources in our territories for thousands of years. 

Humback whales feeding using bubble net
Photo Credit: Doug Neasloss

Over the last decade, our Nations have created marine use plans for our territories, which have been harmonized together to create a Central Coast First Nations Marine Use Plan.

sea lions jump from a rock into the ocean
Photo Credit: Ken Cripps

Implementing Marine Plans

Central Coast First Nations are responsible for the sustainable management of all resources in our territories. To successfully implement our marine plans, we engage all levels of government along with industry, environmental organizations and other third parties that are committed to creating positive change in our marine territories. 

CCIRA utilizes the following strategies to ensure successful implementation of Central Coast marine plans:

  • Secure joint-management agreements with other governments to provide Central Coast First Nations’ with jurisdiction and governing authority over our marine environment and its resources, which enables revenue and benefit sharing, and equitable First Nations’ participation in economic development and capacity building;
  • Acquire specific resource tenures and licences through government negotiation, existing programs, and market buy-back;
  • Develop partnerships with industry, environmental organizations and other third parties through memorandums of understanding, and impact-benefit or joint venture agreements;
  • Affirm Aboriginal Rights and Title to our lands and resources through treaty, litigation and other means, as appropriate.
A row of bull kelp floating on the surface of the water
Photo Credit: Ken Cripps

Guiding Principles

Central Coast First Nations have stood witness to the mismanagement of our marine resources, which led to declining populations of important species, such as salmon, herring and others that have sustained our Central Coast communities for thousands of years. Our people have watched this resource extraction take place with little economic benefit to our Nations.

The Heiltsuk, Kitasoo Xai’xais, Nuxalk and Wuikinuxv Nations assert our Rights and Title to our territories and recognize the obligation bestowed upon us by our ancestors to manage our marine resources based on our traditional laws, knowledge and values. These values maintain a balance with nature, recognize the connection between the land and sea, and understand the importance of educating our children and leaving resources for our children’s children.

Using our traditional laws and knowledge, and through a co-jurisdictional relationship with other levels of government, we will maintain a healthy marine environment while creating a sustainable economy that supports our people.