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British Columbia
Contact name
Rasika Acharya
Job title
Senior Planner (Manager) - Community Planning, Housing, Projects, Policy
About the organization
Tsawwassen means “Land facing the Sea” and the territory is vast. The traditional TFN territory is bordered on the NE by the watersheds that feed into Pitt Lake, down the Pitt River, emptying into the Fraser River, including Burns Bog, part of New Westminster, south of Sea Island, cutting west across the Salish Sea to Galiano Island including Salt Spring, Pender,
and Saturna Islands, including the Point Roberts Peninsula and the watersheds of the Serpentine and Nicomeckl rivers.
Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) as a modern treaty first nation, has similarities to BC local governments, but also to a province and to the federal government of Canada. TFN is its own
unique identity, with governance, taxation, land use legislation and other powers outlined in the TFN Final Agreement. The TFN Final Agreement governs those relations between
TFN, BC and Canada. TFN is its own taxation authority, for purposes defined under the Final Agreement and supplemental agreements, in particular for Real Property Taxation. The
Tsawwassen Land Act establishes the overall framework for the administration of Tsawwassen Lands. The Act prevents any sale of Tsawwassen Lands to any non-Member or non-TFN entity
under any circumstances, through the prohibition of alienation. This ensures land will always continue to be owned by Tsawwassen First Nation Members. TFN participates as a member
of Metro Vancouver Regional District and participates in the TransLink meetings, however TFN lands are not part of a local BC municipality. TFN laws are passed by a TFN Legislature, held
twice a year, once in spring and once in fall each year. The legislature enacts and amends all TFN laws in accordance with a constitution. The top four legislators by vote count, together
with a separately elected Chief, form the Executive Council, which manages day-to-day decisions of TFN. Land use planning and development at TFN is governed under the Land Use Planning and Development Act 10. This Act sets out provisions for the TFN Land Use Plan (similar to the Official Community Plan in other municipalities), and various regulations including zoning, subdivision, development permit and offsite levies. Every five (5) years TFN goes through an elaborate process to identify strategic priorities and adopt a strategic plan which informs all the work plan and budgeting for 5 years.