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The Kitasoo/Xai'xais Nation embrace the important environmental, cultural and ecological values of their territory. We want to protect fish and wildlife habitats, including that of the Spirit Bear, plants, and all important elements of the forest ecosystem. We wish to preserve our cultural values and recognize that our task is to balance ecological values with the rights and needs of our community for economic health, including lasting job creation.
The Kitasoo have developed environmental protocols, identified and protected areas and implemented ecosystem-based management philosophies into any extractive or non-extractive resource plans. With such a large territory, there is a need to monitor the activities taking place on land and in the marine environment.
The Kitasoo Watchmen Program is an initiative that was developed to control and participate in the stewardship and monitoring of our traditional lands and waters. This program is a mechanism for the Kitasoo to ensure that the activities and practices within our territory are consistent with community plans and government regulations.
You may see the Watchman as you travel through the Kitasoo/Xai'xais Territory. Please take a few minutes to say hello. They are more than happy to share information to make your stay in the Great Bear Rainforest unforgettable.
The vision for the Kitasoo/Xai’Xais Watchmen Program is to:
- Monitor and report on activities related to a variety of resource activities
- Collect baseline and ongoing data on human and ecological activities in the area to protect the values cherished by all.
- Have the authority to carry out compliance and enforcement
- Integrate cultural values
- Work cooperatively with neighbouring Nations
- Be functional year round with adequate staff
- Be well supported politically and financially
- Be involved in outreach and education
- Be supported by a comprehensive and regionally based training program
What are we monitoring?:
Kitasoo Guardians conduct monitoring for compliance and outreach. The Guardians enforce government regulations as well as (non-written) community rules. Informal communications with people on the land and waters has been one of the main roles of the Guardians and improves relationships around stewardship of the territory. The Guardians work as an independent entity under the Kitasoo Band Council.
The Kitasoo Guardian Watchmen are currently undertaking the following activities:
- Monitor the use of the Spirit Bear conservancy on Princess Royal Island
- Monitor the use of the territory by commercial tourism operators in the area for compliance with agreements and management plans.
- Monitor the use of the territory by recreational and other users
- Collect wildlife observation data - marine, terrestrial and bird life.
- Collect freshwater/saltwater harvest data from non-commercial users when possible.
- Conduct salmon enumeration and creek assessments.
- Visit forestry and other industrial operations to monitor compliance to agreements and management plans.
Relevant documents and websites:
Kitasoo Watchman and Councilor for the Band
Tel: (250) 839-1148
Resource Stewardship Director and Chief Councilor
Tel: (250) 839-1255
Marine Use Planning and Spirit Bear Lodge
Tel: (250) 839-1265