About the Stein Nahatlatch Initiative


Working with the Nlha’ka7pmx Nations and Indigenous Conserved and Protected Area partners we will put in to action stewardship that reflects our Nlha’ka7pmx ways of knowing in order to foster self-determination and conservation with community engagement and transparency.

About the Stein Nahatlatch Initiative

Formal recognition through an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area would provide new opportunities for local Indigenous communities to self govern the region, protect culturally and spiritually important sites, and create much-needed jobs through environmental restoration projects, cultural tourism, and other forms of small-scale sustainable businesses.

The Stein Nahatlatch Initiative will be guided by elders and traditional knowledge that will provide the base for the core ethic of the proposed Stein Nahatlatch Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area. Traditional knowledge will drive all aspects of campaign design, including community engagement, applied research, ceremony and celebration.

The area has Indigenous cultural significance that stretches back over 10,000 years and is home to the Stein Valley and one of the first Indigenous-led conservation campaigns in Canadian history.

One of the most critical impacts the Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area will realize is the realignment of rights, title and oversight to the local Indigenous governments. The campaign will utilize the BC government’s recently enacted Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA), fully realizing the spirit and intent of the embedded concept of Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC). This will demonstrate these fundamental concepts and allow for on the ground implementation of these actions towards reconciliation.

The Stein Nahatlatch Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area is the frontline of climate change in Canada. Within a six month period, the region of the proposed Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area experienced a devastating heat dome resulting in the highest recorded temperature in Canadian history. The next day, a deadly forest fire burnt the town of Lytton to the ground. Four months later, the now legendary Atmospheric River of 2020, inundated the region resulting in the loss of life of five individuals who were washed away in catastrophic landslides. There were many communities in the area that became completely isolated for weeks from these climate change enhanced storms.

On Monday November 1st, 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the memory of Lytton, BC to illustrate the impact of climate change as he called for global action in the fight against climate change at the United Nations Climate Convention (COP 26) in Egypt.

In December 2022, Chief Byron Spinks was asked to speak at the COP 15 Convention on Biological Diversity meeting in Montreal to provide climate and biodiversity solutions based on the proposed Stein Nahatlatch Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area and the traditional knowledge underpinning the proposal.

As the climate and biodiversity emergencies become more catastrophic, the proposed Stein Nahatlatch Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area will help provide climate solutions through the creation of a carbon sink, functioning as a Global Climate Stabilization Area (GCSA)

One of the key outputs of the campaign will be the development of a comprehensive land and water use plan (LWUP) for the Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area. The first step in the development of this land and water use plan will be undertaking a comprehensive series of community engagement meetings with rights and title holders from the traditional territory. As well, there will be ongoing meetings with local governments and local stakeholders.

Bringing together community input, traditional knowledge, cultural heritage, up to date biodiversity applied research and state of the art technology; a land use planning exercise will be undertaken to articulate the rationale for the creation of the Stein Nahatlatch Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area. The Land and Water Use Plan will include formal protection of cultural heritage, intact, pristine wilderness areas and create large numbers of restoration projects and economic development opportunities in some of the most critical biologically diverse habitats across BC.

Where is the Proposed Stein Nahatlatch Study Area?

The current borders of the proposed area are still being determined. Below is a map, subject to change, of the study area in question.