Pacheedaht First Nation and Canadian Coast Guard sign Memorandum of Understanding to build Port Renfrew Multipurpose Marine Facility
June 29, 2020
Port Renfrew, British Columbia - Government of Canada
The Government of Canada is working to renew its relationship with Indigenous peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership. One way that the Government has committed to renewing this relationship is by ensuring that First Nation, Inuit and Métis peoples have a clear and prominent role in helping manage Canada’s natural environment and resources.
It is in this spirit that the Canadian Coast Guard and the Pacheedaht First Nation, as part of the Co-Developing Community Response initiative of the Trans-Mountain Expansion Project, are pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for the construction of a multipurpose marine facility in Port Renfrew, British Columbia.
The MOU outlines a path forward for the Coast Guard and the Pacheedaht Nation to build a marine facility with the primary mission to provide marine search and rescue and environmental response services, as well as strengthen marine safety and response capacity in the Juan de Fuca Strait.
The Coast Guard looks forward to continued collaboration with the Pacheedaht Nation as we work together to build a multipurpose marine facility in Port Renfrew that benefits the Nation, the region, and the Coast Guard.
The Government of Canada is actively working towards reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. That means building and honouring a nation-to-nation, government-to-government, and Inuit-Crown relationship and ensuring a meaningful role for Indigenous communities in managing our natural environment and the broader marine response system. This MOU will help ensure we continue along this shared journey.
“Our government has been clear that Canada must work in close partnership with Indigenous peoples to manage our natural environment. This Memorandum of Understanding is a clear example of that commitment, as it paves the way for a new marine facility that will be co-managed by the Canadian Coast Guard and the Pacheedaht Nation. Indigenous peoples have lived on the Pacific coast for thousands of years, and their knowledge of this environment is unparalleled. Working nation-to-nation with Pacheedaht First Nation, is not only the right thing to do, it is what is best for the land, the people of this region, and the country as a whole.”
The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
“The construction of the Marine Safety Centre in Pacheedaht territory has been a vision of the Nation for many years. It will help Pacheedaht exercise a greater role in protecting and managing the 112 km of marine coastline, vast territorial waters and abundant resources. This MOU is a great step forward in building a government to government partnership between Pacheedaht First Nation and the Canadian Coast Guard.”
Chief Jeff Jones, Pacheedaht First Nation
“The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding is a proud moment for the Canadian Coast Guard and is solid proof of the successes that nation-to-nation negotiations can bring. I look forward to continuing our work with the Pacheedaht First Nation and construction of the new facility.”
Mario Pelletier, Commissioner, Canadian Coast Guard
The Co-Developing Community Response (CDCR) initiative addresses concerns in Indigenous communities located along the marine route serving the Trans-Mountain Expansion Project about the risks of increased tanker traffic related to marine activities, the environment and culturally important and sacred sites in their traditional territories. Through CDCR, the government and Indigenous communities are developing response capacity at the community level to support a meaningful role for Indigenous communities in the broader marine response system.
The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding is the first of many expected successes under the CDCR, and will serve as a solid blueprint for future negotiations.
Port Renfrew is within Pacheedaht First Nation’s territory on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
Press SecretaryOffice of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
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