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

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

(File - Sooke News Mirror)
Man exposes himself to woman, children on Sooke trail

Suspect believed to be between 55 and 65 years of age

Forty-two residential properties in Oak Bay were assessed the speculation and vacancy tax in 2019 for a total of $693,000. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
74 Oak Bay property owners paid $693,000 in spec tax

42 properties were assessed with the SVT in 2019

Patrick MacMullan won $28,000 playing Toto. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Greater Victoria man wins $28,000 while watching football

Winning ticket purchased at Colwood convenience store

Victoria police are looking for missing woman Dana Frazer, 54, who is driving a blue 2016 Nissan Frontier pickup truck. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
UPDATED: High-risk, missing woman located by Victoria police

VicPD issued a missing alert for Dana Frazer on Jan. 15

(Pixabay photo)
Emergency repairs underway on Phillips Road in Sooke

Sewage may have entered DeMamiel Creek and Sooke River

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
536 COVID cases, 7 deaths reported as B.C. finds its first case of South African variant

Henry said 69,746 people have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

Harvest Meats is recalling a brand of Polish sausages, shown in a handout photo, due to undercooking that may make them unsafe to eat. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the recall affects customers in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Ontario and Saskatchewan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Canadian Food Inspection Agency Mandatory Credit
Harvest Meats recalls sausages over undercooking

Customers are advised to throw away or return the product

The District reopened access to the Sooke Potholes on Friday. (Contributed - Ashley Ensor)
Sooke Potholes reopen after storm

The park was closed on Wednesday after down power lines

Nursing staff at West Coast General Hospital celebrate the announcement of a $6.25-million expansion of the emergency department that will start in March 2021. (File photo)
B.C. health ministry commits $6.25M to hospital expansion in Port Alberni

Plans for larger emergency department have been on hold since 2015

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government announces creation of B.C.’s first anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Black Press media file
Port McNeill driver tells police he thought the pandemic meant no breathalyzers

Suspect facing criminal charges after breathalyzer readings in excess of 3.5 times the legal limit

Forestry companies in B.C. agree to abide by the cedar protocols based on traditional laws of the First Nation members of the Nanwakolas Council. (Photo courtesy, Nanwakolas Council)
Landmark deal sees B.C. forest firms treat big cedars like a First Nation would

Western Forest Products, Interfor among companies to adapt declaration drafted by Nanwakolas Council

Most Read