This week, government officials from the Squamish Nation, Lil’wat Nation and Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) signed a Protocol Agreement, formally marking a renewed working relationship between the parties.
The Protocol provides a framework for the establishment of stronger government-to-government relations. It aims to raise awareness and understanding of the Lil’wat Nation, the Squamish Nation and the RMOW, and establish a cooperative relationship in the spirit of reconciliation.
A key element of the Protocol is the establishment of a Working Committee. The Committee will be comprised of political representatives and staff members from each of the governments, who will be tasked with fostering the intent of the Protocol and working together to address key areas of mutual interest. Intergovernmental coordination, economic development and transportation initiatives are some examples of these shared interests.
“This Protocol Agreement outlines how three governments can come together to share information, improve communications and address issues of mutual interest. This agreement can be seen as an act of reconciliation, marking the beginning of a new relationship with Whistler and strengthening our existing relationship with Squamish Nation.” Kúkwpi7 Skalúlmecw Political Chief Dean Nelson, Lil’wat Nation.
“In 2001, the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations signed a protocol agreement that outlined how we would work together for the betterment of both Nations”, added Deanna Lewis, Councillor, Squamish Nation. We now add to that family today and have an agreement that outlines how the Squamish Nation, Lil’wat Nation and the Resort Municipality of Whistler will collaborate for the future of all three constituencies.”
“The signing of this protocol is a milestone in our government to government relationship, and an important step forward for the future of our communities, our organizations, and our collective aspirations for the longer term,” says Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden.
The Protocol seeks to enhance this unique tri-partite relationship by focusing on developing knowledge of, and respect for, the other governments’ governance structures, traditions and responsibilities.
The signing ceremony took place at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre and included leaders and council members from each government, along with elders and performers from both Nations. Photos available.