“The syilx people of sn’pink’tn have a collective right and responsibility to protect and take care of our lands, our people, our culture, and our spirituality. We take care of our lands, waters, plants, and animals in a respectful and proactive way that ensures that tmixʷ and tmxʷulaxʷ continue to thrive in perpetuity.” – PIB Natural Resources Mission Statement
Title & Rights
The syilx Nation holds un-extinguishable stəłtałt (Title & Rights) to all lands, waters, plants, animals and resources within syilx traditional territory. Our lands and our jurisdiction over our lands have never been ceded. Our responsibilities to the lands, waters and all living things within our Territorial boundaries were given to us by the Creator; they are the truth; an unending truth and cannot be given or taken away. All activities on the land and water are exclusively subject to syilx title, jurisdiction, rights, interests, syilx decision making and responsibility.
Every syilx woman, syilx man and syilx child holds title and rights to the tmxʷulaxʷ (land), siwłkw (waters) and of tmixʷ (all living things) within syilx nation territory. Every syilx person has the right and responsibility to practice our culture, manage our resources, we have the right to self determination. As caretakers, the syilx people have taken care of tmixʷ and tmxʷulaxʷ since time immemorial. It is the application of our laws, our language and our ecosystem management strategies that have led to thousands of years of resilience, harmony, and adaptation within our territory.
The Crown (Federal/Provincial Government) has a duty to consult with Indigenous peoples when the Crown contemplates conduct that might adversely affect asserted or established Indigenous rights. The Crown, where appropriate, also has a duty to accommodate any adverse impacts on asserted or established rights.
PIB Natural Resources receives hundreds of “crown consultations” each month, which are referred to as “referrals”. These referrals are sent in by the federal and provincial government as well as other proponents (Municipalities, etc.). To date, NR has responded to 100% of crown consultations within the PIB Area of Responsibility. This has resulted in the protection of hundreds of cultural, environmental, and archaeological syilx interests.
Cultural Heritage Resource Management
Forestry is a large industry in BC – PIBNR receives thousands of referrals each year. The PIBNR team has a crew of 8+ Cultural Heritage Resource (CHR) staff that go into each proposed forestry cut block and identify snpink’tn interests which can include impacts to culture, the environment, and medicines. These reports provide direction to proponents on where they can and cannot harvest based on a set of community derived forest harvest standards.
Guardians help community to honour our responsibility to care for lands and waters by identifying and addressing situations on the land as they arise. The Guardians are the eyes and boots on the ground for our community; they patrol and help protect all areas both on PIB reserve lands and within syilx Territory. They also regularly engage in public outreach and education and have a variety of different training such as de-escalation techniques to ensure for safety and effectiveness. The Guardians also remove illegally dumped garbage, control trespassing, monitor developments, engage with conservation officers, bylaw officials and support fire watch activities.
The first syilx law is to live in harmony with the land, water, and tmixw. Our restoration program was implemented to carry on this important work, both on and off reserve based on community direction and collaboration. Like the majority of the work at NR, our restoration program is guided by our Traditional Ecological Knowledge Keepers and community members and we learn from them about relationships with animals and changes on the land. By monitoring species-at-risk and culturally important species, restoring impacted habitat through invasive species removal and native species planting, and re-establishing traditional practices throughout the territory, we are working to ensure the health of the tmixw and therefore syilx culture and traditions for future generations.
To protect our ancestors and cultural heritage, the PIBNR team is RISC (Resource Information Standard Committee) Archaeology certified and also trained by syilx Knowledge Keepers. Our team is involved in archaeological assessments, preliminary field reconnaissance surveys, Cultural Heritage Resource assessments, archaeological monitoring, archaeological permit reviews, and providing direction for impacted archaeological sites within the PIB area of responsibility. We work hard to identify and protect irreplaceable cultural heritage and also facilitate training programs for syilx youth and children.