Lil'wat Land Use Plan - The Vision and Plan for the Land and Resources of
Lil'wat Nation Traditional Territory
The Lil'wat Land Use Plan is an important step in expressing the will of the Lil'wat Nation for the future of our land. The Lil'wat Land Use Plan will help to ensure healthy lands and waters in our Traditional Territory. Our people have lived on this land since time out of mind, using the many resources that it offers to support our way of life. We live in a rapidly changing world with resource extraction, land development, and other forms of activity altering the place we live, every day. This plan outlines how our land should be treated and used, by our Nation and by others.
We have a deep and longstanding connection to the land, water, plants, and animals of our Traditional Territory. We respect this place and have an inherent role in guiding its use. This document provides direction to develop a better future through which all Lil'wat people have an opportunity to lead productive lives in a healthy environment, surrounded by a vibrant Lil'wat culture, and engaged in viable and sustainable economic opportunities.
Purpose of the Land Use Plan
This document represents the vision of the Lil'wat people for our Traditional Territory. The plan provides management direction to sustain the plants, animals, and waters of this land, and the health of the Lil’wat people, who rely on the resources that our Traditional Territory offers. The 1911 Declaration of the Lillooet Tribe states, “We are the rightful owners of our tribal territory, and everything pertaining thereto. We have always lived in our country; at no time have we deserted it, or left it to others. We have retained it from the invasion of other tribes at the cost of our blood.” The Declaration defines the rights of the Lil'wat people, identifies concerns about the effects of the intrusion of non-native activities on the land, and states the importance of clarifying the Lil’wat’s title to and rights throughout the Traditional Territory. Court decisions in the recent past have provided further recognition of our title and rights.
A fundamental belief of our people is that the entire Traditional Territory is important in sustaining our culture. Our land has towering peaks, fertile valleys, fast-flowing rivers, clear lakes, and majestic old growth forests. The land and its resources are, however, vulnerable to development pressures from the outside. The Lil’wat Land Use Plan acknowledges the state of our Traditional Territory, presents a desired future condition of the land, and provides the fundamental principles of collaboration between the Lil'wat and others using the land and resources, to secure a better future.
The LLUP enables Lil'wat staff, Council, community members, and others to make betterinformed decisions. The Lil'wat vision and policies for the Traditional Territory expressed in this plan provide greater clarity for Lil'wat people and for non-aboriginal governments, developers, and planners.
The LLUP is a living document, which will evolve through with time. The cultural, environmental, and economic information base that supports the Plan is being updated as interviews are conducted, documents are reviewed, and archeological sites are found. The management direction in the Plan is based on the best available information, including the views of the community. Revisions to this Plan can be expected as new information is brought forward.