Supporting Reconciliation With Indigenous Peoples
The practice of professional forestry often requires forest professionals to work in partnership with Indigenous Peoples. As the professional regulator of forest professionals, the Association of BC Forest Professionals is committed to building respect between Indigenous Peoples and the forestry profession.
This commitment is enshrined as a guiding principle in the ABCFP’s 2020-2024 strategic plan, which states the ABCFP supports reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples through education, awareness, and inclusion. The Professional Governance Act requires the ABCFP in section 57(1)(f) to establish continuing education programs or requirements that support reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples in British Columbia.
The ABCFP’s efforts to support reconciliation can be seen in the following initiatives:
In 2021 the ABCFP is working to distribute to First Nations across the province a new publication, Introduction to the ABCFP, explaining the different types of forest professionals, their commitment to forest stewardship, and the role of the ABCFP plays as a regulator in registering forest professionals, ensuring their competence, and to hold forest professionals accountable for their practice and conduct;
- As part of their annual registration renewal, all forest professionals must indicate whether they have adequate knowledge about Indigenous Peoples, culture, Aboriginal rights and title interests, and concerns with forest land and resource use, in order to carry out their professional job responsibilities;
- All new registrant trainees are required to complete a learning module on working effectively with Indigenous Peoples;
- The ABCFP provides registrants with professional development opportunities (some of which are available free of charge) to support their knowledge and awareness of Indigenous Peoples’ rights and title, history, and culture;
- ABCFP Council includes Indigenous representation and/or council members with in-depth Indigenous-related knowledge and experience;
- Articles in BC Forest Professional magazine encourage continuous learning and understanding about Indigenous Peoples and culture in relation to forestry;
- The annual ABCFP forestry conference incorporates Indigenous speakers, content, and recognition;
- The traditional territories of Indigenous Nations are acknowledged at the physical office of the ABCFP; during the annual conference and professional development workshops; and within the ABCFP’s e-newsletter, The Increment, and BC Forest Professional magazine;
- Specialized communication products highlighting the work and success of Indigenous forest professionals who are part of the ABCFP are widely available;
- Indigenous learning is incorporated into ABCFP practice guidance, bulletins, reports, and reminders provided to registrants when possible and where appropriate;
- The ABCFP participates in Indigenous-led or oriented external events (such as conferences or other large events) to engage with Indigenous groups and partners to communicate about the role and work of forest professionals and the regulated forestry profession;
- The ABCFP participates in student career and education fairs that are oriented towards Indigenous students.
Some resources to assist in listening, learning, and supporting reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples:
- Learn more about who’s traditional territory you reside and work on;
- Explore the collections and resources shared by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada;
- Read the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada;
- Watch residential school survivors testify for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
- Read the names of the children who were known to have died at residential schools
- Watch films relating to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirits