The co-chair of this year’s BC Elders Gathering is hoping this is a starting point for progress.
The gathering is being held this week in Campbell River.
John Henderson says there’s been discussion on key issues facing BC First Nations, including treatment of missing and murdered women, wildfires and climate change.
“It’s something dear to the hearts of most of the tribes. It’s on the forefront of a lot of the politicians across this country and it is as well with First Nations leadership across British Columbia.”
Henderson notes while there seems to be a greater willingness to work with governments for solutions, First Nations are still reluctant to do so.
“One of the reasons is because of the accomodating factors and reconciliation. What do those words mean? They mean different things to different people.”
“With First Nations people, that means one thing: Giving us some of our rights back and our history.”
Henderson is hopeful elders use their knowledge from the gathering to continue making progress on important issues, like ensuring the protection of First Nations interests and a bright future for their youth.