Tsawwassen First Nation and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority announced the signing of a historic relationship agreement last week.
On Saturday, Oct. 2, a signing ceremony was held for Tsawwassen First Nation members to witness Chief Ken Baird and Vancouver Fraser Port Authority president and CEO Robin Silvester signed the milestone relationship agreement.
As neighbours and partners, the agreement will formalize the partnership between TFN and the port authority, govern their long-term relationship, and provide a framework to support collaborative work together in Tsawwassen traditional territory, according to a press release.
“The Port of Vancouver has been our neighbour for many years. For future generations, the port will still be there, and so it is important that we forge this relationship with the port authority now and continue to build on it in the future,” Baird told members. “This is all part of truth and reconciliation in my mind.”
The relationship agreement reflects the joint commitment to act as partners in protecting Tsawwassen lands, upholding treaty rights and advancing collective goals of environmental stewardship, the release states. The agreement represents a promise to work together in a manner that reflects mutual respect and ensures that everyone’s voice is treated equally.
“This relationship agreement represents a renewed partnership between TFN and the port authority—and one that we developed thoughtfully together to enable a new way of working over the long term as neighbours and partners,” Silvester said.
Tsawwassen First Nation and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority look forward to delivering on joint commitments to work in true partnership, the release states, adding that through the framework of this renewed agreement, the parties will work together to uphold and advance the rights of Tsawwassen First Nation members as a step towards a positive future of respect and reconciliation.