North coast protection the focus of partnership between Ottawa and First Nations

North coast protection the focus of partnership between Ottawa and First Nations
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with First Nations leaders in Prince Rupert. Trudeau announced a partnership with First Nations on marine initiatives aimed at protecting B.C.'s North Coast. Photo courtesy Twitter/Renée Filippone.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with First Nations leaders in Prince Rupert. Trudeau announced a partnership with First Nations on marine initiatives aimed at protecting B.C.’s North Coast. Photo courtesy Twitter/RenĂ©e Filippone.

To celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day Thursday, the Prime Minister is in Prince Rupert for an announcement on ocean protection.

Ottawa is partnering with 14 coastal First Nations for initiatives aimed at protecting B.C.’s north Pacific waters.

The government says the agreement will advance reconciliation and cover an area of two-thirds of the B.C. coast.

The agreement includes developing a network of marine protected areas, with both sides coordinating management and ocean conservation.

Heiltsuk Chief Marilyn Slett calls the collaboration between Indigenous peoples and the federal government as an encouraging and positive step.

She says First Nations will have the ability to work with Ottawa to make sure measures are in place for sustainable marine management and protection.

With files from the Canadian Press.

Andy NealAndy Neal

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