Xwísten Traditional Use Lands Study
Land tenure on First Nation reserves can be complicated. Without clarity of tenure, it can create community conflict and stall community development. EcoPlan worked with Xwísten (Bridge River Indian Band) to tackle this challenging issue. Through research and interviews, EcoPlan and Xwísten developed a greater understanding of family connections to the land and the land-related rights of members. This project found clarity around Xwísten’s reserve lands so that the band can move forward with economic development activities (such as agriculture). The project included capacity building and mentorship of a local coordinator who conducted dozens of interviews and did extensive historical research. The final output is a community lands report, a GIS database of information about land parcels on reserve, an user-friendly atlas of information about each parcel of land, and a repository of historical information that Xwísten researchers can use for generations to come.