Premier Christy Clark mingles with aboriginal leaders at second annual cabinet-First Nations meeting in Vancouver Thursday.

B.C., chiefs pledge to work on reconciliation

Premier Christy Clark launches aboriginal sports awards, scholarships, but chiefs want end to colonial rule

B.C. cabinet ministers and 500 aboriginal leaders emerged from two days of meetings in Vancouver Thursday with a pledge to work on divisive resource development issues and hold a province-wide forum on aboriginal children in government care.

Premier Christy Clark also announced the establishment of a $2 million fund for scholarships for aboriginal students pursuing post-graduate degrees, and a new set of awards for aboriginal youth athletic achievement.

Surrey-White Rock MLA Gordon Hogg was appointed parliamentary secretary in charge of developing the sports awards.

A framework document agreed to at the meeting commits the province and First Nations Leadership Council members to keep working on a reconciliation agreement that would settle historic land claims across the province. Clark said the agreement would have to include provisions for the unique aspects of more than 200 First Nations.

Grand Chief Ed John of the First Nations Summit said the first two years of these province-wide meetings have gotten off to a rocky start, but expressed the hope that “by year 10 we’ll have paved the road.”

In his closing speech, John reflected on his own time at a residential school, and described a new generation of young people that is emerging from the social upheaval of that policy.

“I couldn’t even see my sister on the other side of the building, even though she was in the same residential school as I was,” John said. “That disconnect became the norm for us.”

Chief Shane Gottfriedson, regional representative of the Assembly of First Nations, echoed John’s call for a resolution to land issues that started in 1859 when colonial Governor James Douglas proclaimed that all lands and resources in B.C. belong to Crown.

Chief Robert Chamberlin, vice president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, said last year’s landmark land title decision in favour of the Tsilhqot’in Nation means action is required to address territorial claims.

It is the Canadian law that First Nations want to see implemented,” he said.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

CRD to consider plan for mountain biking trails at Mount Work

SIMBS seek new trails in Hartland, Partridge Hills

MISSING: High-risk woman last seen on May 25

Police are asking for the public’s help in locating Jennifer Daughinee-Mendelson

Oak Bay clinic opens virtual classes to public for fundraiser

Patient activity is up for cancer-supporting clinic during COVID-19 crisis

More than 1,500 people expected at Victoria peace rally for Black lives

‘To speak up, all you need is a voice and the will to be heard’

Greater Victoria transit usage sees gradual rise

Ridership still down 66 per cent compared to last year

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Vancouver Island First Nations gather to remember woman fatally shot by police

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council requests an independent investigation

Cortes Island affordable housing project hangs by a thread

Regional decision makers resort to COVID-19 concerns despite virtual meeting option and push hearing to September

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

North Island recreation camping site closed due to vandalism

Damage happens every year, forcing site manager to reallocate improvement budget to repairs

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Most Read