Victoria, B.C. – The B.C. Green Party celebrates the cultural diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis in British Columbia and Canada. This year on National Aboriginal Day, we have cause for pause and reflection in the wake of last month’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission report, which, for the first time, acknowledges that Aboriginal people in Canada have suffered cultural genocide. In the spirit of truth, reconciliation and social justice, the B.C. Green Party calls on all levels of government to implement the ninety-four recommendations from this report.
“The economic, environmental and social prosperity of British Columbia depends on our commitment to build meaningful relationships with Aboriginal leaders,” says Adam Olsen, Interim-Leader of the B.C. Green Party. “We cannot keep kicking the can down the road by signing one-off revenue sharing agreements. It’s time to turn and face our history, and to embrace it together. Only then can we move forward. In that spirit, the Province should recognize National Aboriginal Day as a statutory holiday, giving it equal weight among other major holidays that recognize people, culture, and history.”
Our Province is a long way from true reconciliation and respect for Aboriginal people, Olsen says. “British Columbia remains entrenched in a 19th-century approach to 21st-century challenges. Numerous Aboriginal rights, title and historic treaties still aren’t recognized by the Province. The appointment of George Abbott as head of the Treaty Commission was unilaterally scrapped, the Site C dam project was approved despite strong opposition from First Nations, and Pacific LNG has been pushed forward despite the Lax Kw’alaams membership voting unanimously against it. We need to do better.”
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Stefan Jonsson, Director of Communications
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