Release of provincial Aboriginal Toolkit to improve invasive plant management on traditional lands

IPCBC News Release, June 30, 2011: WILLIAMS LAKE—Through a partnership between the Williams Lake Indian Band, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC), formerly known as Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), and the Invasive Plant Council of British Columbia, a new provincial Aboriginal Toolkit is now released to assist Aboriginal communities across BC reduce the impact of invasive plants on traditional, reserve, and adjacent lands. 

“This Toolkit addresses the need for step-by-step invasive plant management strategies that considers Aboriginal traditions and land values. For instance, Aboriginal foods and medicines are being affected by the loss of biodiversity caused by invasive plants and other alien species,” said Kristy Palmantier, Invasive Plant Council chair and Secwepemc (Shuswap) Nation member.

Due to their impacts and rapid spread, invasive species and plants are globally recognized as a serious threat, and international, national, and provincial regulations have been developed to address this problem. At this time, there are no federal regulations that have been developed for Indian Reserve lands related to invasive species. Each Aboriginal community is responsible to manage the invasive plant problem separately. In addition, there is no invasive plant specific funding provided to most Aboriginal communities. 

The purpose of this Toolkit is to provide a resource for Aboriginal communities who would like to be involved in invasive plant management, and to provide information, guidance, and support linkages across key agencies, including government agencies, industry, and non-native communities.

This toolkit is useful for Aboriginal communities who do not yet have a noxious weed or invasive plant program, as well as those who would like to expand their current program and respond to Pest Management Plans.

“The toolkit templates and resources will help to address local problems with invasive spotted knapweed, create protection policies for our new golf course, and look at ways to help restore and enhance natural habitat of our area,” said Williams Lake Indian Band chief, Ann Louie.

The Aboriginal Toolkit is phase one of a two-phase project. The second phase involves piloting the Toolkit at the community level, in partnership with the Williams Lake Indian Band. 

Funding for this project comes from the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Land Environment Action Fund. 

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The IPCBC is a grassroots, non-profit charity working collaboratively to build cooperation and coordination of invasive species management in BC. The IPCBC coordinates workshops, activities, and events to educate the public and professionals about invasive species and their potential risks. 

The IPCBC has grown rapidly since its inception in 2004. Initiated and mentored under the vision of the Fraser Basin Council, the Invasive Plant Council of BC is recognized across the country for its leadership in building collaboration to the challenging problem of invasive species. 
For more information, contact the Invasive Plant Council of BC (IPCBC):
Contact: Gail Wallin, Executive Director
(250) 392-1400 or 1-888-WEEDSBC

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Invasive Plant Committee (CCCIPC)
Contact: Trish McKinney, Coordinator
(250) 392-1400

Williams Lake Indian Band
Contact: Chief Ann Louie
(250) 296-3507

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Telephone: 250-305-1003 or 1-888-933-3722
Fax: 778-412-2248

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Williams Lake, BC V2G 1Z5

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