Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ First Nation President Les Doiron (far right) is named to new BC Parks foundation.
Les Doiron, president of the Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ First Nation located on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, has been appointed to a new board. He joins an icon wildlife painter, an internationally recognized leader in the renewable energy industry and a recipient of the Order of British Columbia known for her advocacy work with Aboriginal peoples.
Board chair of the newly-formed 10-member BC Parks Foundation is Karla Rockwell. The other board members who join Doiron include Robert Bateman, Ross Beaty, Ric Careless, Dana Hayden, Daniel Johnston, Eric Peterson, former chief commissioner of the BC Treaty Commission Sophie Pierre and Jim Standen.
“As a First Nations person and the president of a Maa-nulth Treaty Nation on Vancouver Island, our people have always been stewards of the land and have taken care of resources and the earth,” said Doiron. “That is my ultimate goal.”
He said his participation is about the 700 people of the Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ First Nation, who he represents.
“I am excited for the opportunity as a Maa-nulth Treaty Nation—that is a self-governing nation—to work with some very capable and serious leaders on the Board of Directors to make a positive difference.”
The BC Parks Foundation will help generate private revenue, to be spent on promoting and enhancing the experience in BC Parks.
Independent of government, the foundation will strive to ensure the provincial parks system is valued and protected for generations to come, reads a press statement.
The foundation is based on four key principles:
Protecting parks, including strategic land acquisition, funding for ecological and cultural conservation and restoration projects, and funding research projects aimed at better understanding biological and ecological diversity and how to better respond and adapt to climate change.
Connecting people to parks, including funding for educational and cultural programming, collaborative marketing campaigns, and programs that will lead to increasing attendance, increasing accessibility for persons with disabilities, and attracting new park users.
Inspiring people to become stewards of B.C. parks, including volunteer programs, engaging and inspiring youth and harnessing British Columbians’ passion for wild spaces.
Enhancing the ability to harness the full potential of parks, including strategic infrastructure enhancements (e.g., field research stations) and programs directed at increasing visitor experience and their understanding of the history of B.C.’s parks, their cultural importance, and the scientific opportunities associated with them.
In February 2017, the Province announced $10 million as an initial endowment to the BC Parks Foundation, as part of a broader investment of $35 million over the next three years to increase and strengthen conservation in B.C.’s world renowned parks.
“It is the common passion and deep appreciation for B.C.’s magnificent park system that has inspired us to serve on the BC Parks Foundation board, said Rockwell. “The foundation will provide another avenue for British Columbians who share that passion to support our provincial parks.”