The CVRD acknowledges that it is on the traditional unceded territory of the K’ómoks First Nation, an important partner in water management and conservation in the beautiful Comox Valley.

Building on the K’ómoks First Nation (KFN) Protocol Agreement, signed in 2010, the CVRD remains committed to respectful and genuine engagement with our valued community partner.

The Significance of Water

The CVRD has come to understand that the waters flowing through the valley hold a deep cultural significance to KFN’s history and community. This water also plays an important role in the future of the community and its aspirations for growth and independence. Acknowledging this history, committing to working together as partners and acknowledging the strength of diversity in our community, are all important steps of reconciliation. These beliefs have and will continue to inform the CVRD’s organizational culture.

In the spirit of partnership, the CVRD was pleased and honoured to sign a Mutual Benefit Agreement on water to confirm cooperation and collaboration with KFN in the management of water resources in the region. This agreement includes plans to extend water services in the future to K’ómoks lands south of Royston and greater participation by KFN in the management of regional water resources. By signing this agreement, KFN stated its support of the Comox Valley Water Treatment Project and the CVRD’s water license application, which assisted greatly in gaining provincial and federal support of the project.


Photo caption - From left: Russell Dyson (CVRD), Bob Wells (CVRD), Bruce Jolliffe (CVRD), Chief Nicole Rempel (KFN), Melinda Knox (KFN), Tina McLean (KFN)

A Culture of Partnership

In February 2019, CVRD elected officials and senior staff joined KFN in a Community to Community Forum to share knowledge, exchange information about governance structures and continue strengthening and building relationships. This forum represents one of the ways the CVRD and KFN are working together to ensure the continuation of a cooperative and collaborative government-to-government relationship that supports partnerships now and in the future

For more information about our shared initiatives, please click on the drop-down menus below.

Protocol Agreement

On June 14, 2010 the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD), the City of Courtenay, the Town of Comox, the Village of Cumberland and the K'ómoks First Nation (KFN) signed a historic protocol agreement that lays out a shared understanding of key interests, and establishes a positive government-to-government relationship in the Comox Valley. 

In 2008, the CVRD Board established a select committee to develop a Comox Valley local government and KFN protocol. Initial principles were identified and a series of reconciliation and recognition workshops were hosted by the K'ómoks First Nation, which elected and non-elected officials from the Comox Valley attended. Since July 2009, staff from K'ómoks First Nation and the Comox Valley local governments met numerous times and developed a shared understanding of key interests and worked through a number of draft documents.

The final protocol agreement captures the agreed-upon issues and interests:

KFN Protocol Agreement

The agreement is meant to serve as a beginning for more productive and detailed conversations regarding the following topics:

  • Culture and heritage protection
  • Environmental protection
  • Intergovernmental coordination: improving communications with a focus on roles, responsibilities and aspirations
  • Joint economic development
  • Land use planning and management: including but not limited to regional growth strategies, official community plans, treaty land issues, resource management plans, provincial planning processes, park management, and other land use plans and regulations
  • Property taxation issues
  • Shared / reciprocal services
  • K'ómoks / local government governance relations
  • Emergency preparedness
  • Consultation and accommodation
  • Other key interests as agreed to by the parties

The protocol agreement has allowed for more detailed discussions regarding matters that are specific to individual parties to begin. The protocol agreement is seen as a high-level commitment to work together and share information amongst the parties. As some of the topics are addressed, action plans to find solutions to the issues will be developed, with input from political representatives, administration and technical experts.

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Mutual Benefit Agreement

The K’ómoks First Nation and Comox Valley Regional District signed a Mutual Benefit Agreement on September 28, 2018 confirming cooperation and collaboration in the management of water resources in the region.

Photo caption - From left: Tina McLean (KFN), Melinda Knox (KFN), Chief Nicole Rempel (KFN), Bruce Joliffe (CVRD), Bob Wells (CVRD)

 

This agreement is an important milestone towards building a meaningful relationship and partnership between KFN and the CVRD.  It includes plans to extend water services in future to K’ómoks lands south of Royston and greater participation by KFN in the management of regional water resources. In the signing of this agreement, KFN has stated its support of the Comox Valley Water Treatment Project and the CVRD’s water license application. KFN and the CVRD have also agreed to collaboratively manage and conserve water resources throughout the Comox Valley.

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Community Meetings

On February 26, 2019, the K’ómoks First Nation (KFN) and Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) held their first Community to Community Meeting. The forum was attended by KFN Chief and Council, Elders and Hereditary Chiefs; CVRD directors and staff; City of Courtenay, Town of Comox and Village of Cumberland councillors and staff; and representatives for Members of Parliament Gord Johns and Rachel Blaney and MLA Ronna-Ray Leonard. 


Photo caption: CVRD Directors and KFN Chief and Council from left to right: Back Row – CVRD Alternate Director Mannos Theos, Chair Bob Wells, Director David Frisch, KFN Councillor Katherine Frank, Director Arzeena Hamir, KFN Councillor Richard Hardy, Directors Daniel Arbour, Jesse Ketler and Doug Hillian; Middle Row – Directors Melanie McCollum, Wendy Morin and Alternate Director Gwyn Sproule, KFN Chief Nicole Rempel and Councillor Barb Mitchell, Directors Edwin Grieve and Maureen Swift; Front – Director Will Cole-Hamilton

 

The Community to Community forum was made possible by a grant from the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) and the CVRD has committed to following up on opportunities to co-host a future meeting.

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