The goals of the Beaver First Nation Land and Resources Department include:
Gathering, managing, and ground-truthing information provided by Elders and Land Users in relation to traditional land use;
Negotiating with industry and government on land and resource-related agreements;
Reviewing dispositions and responding to industry and government on potential impacts to the exercise of our Treaty and Aboriginal rights and other interests;
Participating in land use planning processes in Treaty 8 territory;
Facilitating Land and Resource related training and employment opportunities for Beaver First Nation membership; and
Assessing and managing for cumulative impacts on the exercise of our Treaty and Aboriginal rights and other interests.
Our Land and Resources Department works with the community to conduct Treaty Land Entitlement (TLE) and Traditional Land Use (TLU) research in order that traditional and current use can be better understood and better documented. This research is integral to establishing a consultative territory that can be used in negotiations and partnerships with government, industry, and other external organizations.
Land research has also been integral to understanding BFN history and the history of our members. By using church and government documents, for example, we can track genealogy within the community.
Land Use Planning
In considering the potential use of reserve land, the department maps land to determine acreage size while also working with legal land descriptions. Building a better understanding of this land's legal, traditional, and scientific properties will help the Chief and Council determine how our land and resources can best benefit the community.
The department also responds to and engages with government and industry exploring or operating in our traditional territory. By negotiating agreements, we aim to protect Treaty and Aboriginal rights and interests while also developing training and employment opportunities for BFN members where appropriate.
As our Elders and land users continue to share their knowledge with us, we gain a greater understanding of the land that was used-- and has continued to be used--for hunting, medicinal, and ceremonial purposes. Evidence still exists of funerary areas, old housing and cabin sites, and battlegrounds, all of which are noted in detail on traditional land use maps. This knowledge remains under the ownership and control of BFN members and is collected in confidence.
As we explore old and new interviews and visit traditional sites, this collective knowledge grows, and with it our traditional territory boundaries expand. This traditional territory is important in working with government and industry as we strive to protect our Treaty and Aboriginal rights and interests.
We are currently in the process of updating the boundaries of our consulatative territory. We are happy to talk to any interested parties in the meantime, and will post a map here when it is fully updated and approved.