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

Box containing hundreds of family photos found in Courtenay returned to rightful owner

Local media sources collaborate to solve family photos mystery

Two Comox Valley groups share annual Project Watershed award

Keep It Living Award given to Morrison Creek Streamkeepers and Comox Valley Land Trust

ATV crash at bottom of Mount Washington sends two to hospital

Two people were hospitalized following an ATV (all terrain vehicle) accident shortly… Continue reading

Game on! Outdoor pickleball season starts up in the Comox Valley

Comox Valley Pickleball Association members Evie MacDonald and Donny Cruickshank (near court)… Continue reading

Island Health signs working agreement to turn former Comox hospital into a ‘dementia village’

Island Health has signed a project development agreement with Providence Living to… Continue reading

Dr. Bonnie Henry given new name in B.C. First Nation ceremony: ‘one who is calm among us’

The provincial health officer was honoured in a May 22 ceremony at elementary school in Hazelton

Comox Valley business map offers information on local eateries, grocery stores and more

Search and click for hours and services offered during the COVID-19 pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

RCMP told of alleged assault in Courtenay hours after the fact

Police only made aware of possible attack through social media posts

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

28 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

B.C. poison control sees spike in adults, children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer sales and usage have gone up sharply amid COVID-19 pandemic

Royal B.C. Museum reopens in phases, some galleries remain closed to start summer

Victoria museum and archives open first galleries June 19

Most Read