Monday, July 22, 2024

W̱SÁNEĆ council signs new document with BC to achieve lasting reconciliation


The BC government and W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council signed a new letter of understanding as a commitment to resolving issues together in a step toward lasting reconciliation.

The Tsartlip and Tseycum First Nations were represented in this new documentation of progress by the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council. 

The W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council is an organization whose main focus is self-determination. 

They work with government and other organizations to garner respect and recognition of the W̱SÁNEĆ Douglas Treaty rights and W̱SÁNEĆ Aboriginal rights and title.

Some of the things specifically outlined as priority issues for the W̱SÁNEĆ Peoples of southern Vancouver Island are the recognition and implementation of the Douglas Rights Treaty.

That’s in addition to the acquisition of lands for the W̱SÁNEĆ Peoples, education, wildlife harvesting, revenue sharing, engagement with organizations like BC Ferries and the Royal BC Museum, as well as improving local government relations. 

The letter of understanding was in the works for over two years and the signing of the document means a lot to the Nation who just wants to be included in discussions that hugely impact their ancestral land and the First Peoples who live on it. 

“This letter of understanding signals an important change in the relationship between W̱SÁNEĆ and the provincial government,” said Chief Don Tom, president of the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council. 

“Seven generations of W̱SÁNEĆ have pushed for meaningful discussions on the issues which continue to negatively impact the lives and livelihoods of our people.”

“Today, British Columbia and the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council have made a commitment to have those discussions, in conjunction with the federal government, and we look forward to working together to create a better future for our W̱SÁNEĆ communities.”

Curtis Blandy

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