`I didn’t know I was an Indian. I was just from the community’

By Roisin Cullen  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter On Aug. 23, the Lil’wat and N’Quatqua First Nations made a surprise announcement, saying they were “shutting down” access to the popular Joffre Lakes provincial park. The Village of Pemberton (VOP) has also paused its Official Community Plan (OCP) review process so officials can focus on building a “deeper and more meaningful” relationship with the Lil’wat Nation. It is clear the communities of Lil’wat Nation and Pemberton are moving forward to a shared future, and are in the middle of a period of substantial change. Pique sat down with Lil’wat Political Chief Dean Nelson to talk about a joint history, the future for Joffre Lakes, and what reconciliation really means. The interview has been edited for length and clarity. Pique: How important was…

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