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Tmixʷ Research


Tmixʷ (Lands) & Research Department (TRD)

Tmixʷ Research Department consists of two very important parts of values the collective history and resources within the Nlaka’pamux and Sylix traditional territory. In 1996 the Tmixw Research Department (TRD) was formed under the direction of the Chiefs and Council members of Scw’exmx Tribal Council a non-profit organization where small dreams can lead into big dreams and goals to meet deadlines are in our minds to ensure identification, mapping, protection, and stewardship of the Nlaka’pamux and Sylix Cultural Heritage & Natural Resources are represented. Tmixʷ represents three of the four bands, and jointly works with Lower Nicola and Upper Nicola Bands. When there is work or “boots on the ground” the First Nations Environmental, Archaeological and Cultural monitors are stewards of the land we call Tmixʷ.

The Traditional Land Use Studies and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) started in the early 1990’s Tmixʷ Research Department started collecting the knowledge of community members a huge responsibility for gathering and documenting valuable oral stories and information involving traditional resource matters and archaeology issues under Traditional Land Use Studies (TLUS). To protect and ensure the information is kept confidential, all information is recorded as site numbers, polygons, lines, and mapping with icons we call the Database Access. Many audio media, site forms, mylars and journals have been recorded, documented, and digitized throughout the years in proposals. Some are written in the language and spoken in the language. The elder’s knowledge helps protect the language, conserve culture, preserve values, rehabilitate lands, and acknowledge the lands worth in resources to strengthen the next Seven Generations livelihood. All information is held in trust by Tmixw Research Department. The tapes are placed in fire-safe storage cabinets, the mylar are stored in wooden stand-up cabinets and the information is on a database placed under high security.

The Field Technicians are technically “Boots on the ground” where training and pre-season work begin early as April. A notification letter is sent to Departments of Referral agencies and maps, shapefiles of harvesting areas from proponents are sent in the beginning of the new year. “Boots on the Ground have a large area that covers the Writ of Summons map. Each day a safety tailgate meeting starts the day off with safety concerns for the upcoming work. The department utilizes the BC Forestry Councils SEABASE, and the Occupational Health and Safety procedures are followed to ensure that everyone is safe while out in the field. Tmixʷ field work includes Preliminary Field Reconnaissance (PFRs), Environmental, Cultural, Archaeological, and Indigenous monitoring. The PFR team walks the land and surveys the surface of the proponents proposed harvest areas, for invasive plant species, wildlife, streams, wetlands, cultural heritage resources, areas of potential for artifacts, and areas of concern. The protection and preservation of the land, water quantity and quality are intrinsic to First Nation communities for land use, hunting to maintain cultural practices within.  A work plan is made in advance for maximum coverage on the blocks. Photographs, maps, tracks, and detailed notes of the areas are noted to be identified as concerning when the PFR reports are written then proper recommendations are provided to the proponents on protecting all areas.

Species at Risk are considered an endangered or threatened species in certain bioclimatic zones in the forest. It may portray wildlife trees, dens, burrows, natural salt licks, areas of significant browsing, and active bird nests. There are currently 200 federally listed species at risk here in BC. When our Field Technicans are sent out, they are documenting and reporting their findings in the reports sent to the licensees. These reports help encourage and guide some forest management practices such as selective logging, wildlife tree and patch-retention.

Invasive species are found throughout the lands we survey. Our protocol is to waypoint the location and ribbon off the area. This helps with the recommendations of the removal of the invasive plants, to help the native plant species thrive. Sharing knowledge helps with the understanding and to recognize the invasive species. A few we see within our territory are found in our backyards such as the blueweed, burdock, knapweed, and the list can go on. Tmixʷ Research Department demonstrates a commitment to the stewardship and environmental protection through allocation, awareness, and training to protect our traditional practices and way of life for our future generations to come.

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