VICTORIA, B.C. – In response to the BC NDP announcing $789M in funds to rebuild the Royal BC Museum (RBCM), Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands and a member of Tsartlip First Nation has issued the following statement:
“The announcement of a new Royal BC Museum is not an act of reconciliation. Spending nearly $800M on a new museum while only investing $500,000 for repatriation of ancestral remains and items of cultural significance demonstrates how out of touch this Premier is.
“Indigenous cultures are not curiosities of the past, and our cultural items are not artifacts. Our cultures and practices are alive and well across the province. They are still relevant today and these stolen objects belong in our communities, not exhibited behind glass walls.
“The RBCM has a history of being an unsafe place for Indigenous people to work. A new building will not fix the systemic rot that the museum is founded upon. While educating the public is important, this investment once again prioritizes revenue-generation over Indigenous people. This $800 million investment could fund conservation financing and Indigenous Protected Areas. It could finance new policing systems, safe supply, stable housing or healthcare.
“Without dramatically increasing repatriation funds to every First Nation that wants their items returned home, this new museum continues a legacy of colonization.”
B.C. Green Caucus
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