National Indigenous Peoples Day

John Horgan

"On National Indigenous Peoples Day, people around British Columbia and across the country honour and celebrate the rich and diverse histories, traditions and cultures of Indigenous peoples - the first peoples.

"We recognize the diverse systems of governance, decision-making, economies and knowledge that have guided Indigenous peoples since time immemorial. Our government acknowledges the inherent rights and title of Indigenous peoples and recognizes our responsibility to advance reconciliation through government-to-government relationships that respect those rights and title.

"Together with Indigenous peoples, we have taken significant steps forward that are making a difference to people in communities - through revenue sharing, affordable housing, language revitalization and working in partnership to transform the child welfare system so families can stay together. On Nov. 28, 2019, we enacted historic legislation that makes sure Indigenous rights are respected. Since then, we have been working with Indigenous peoples, Nations and organizations on an action plan that will guide our work together to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

"As we celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day and the resilience of Indigenous peoples, we must remember the 150 years and more of colonial injustices fuelled by hate and racism against Indigenous peoples. Many of these historical and horrific injustices still echo in Indigenous communities, our systems and institutions today. Last week's upsetting allegations of racist behaviours in our heath care system is a horrific example. This reignites our resolve to fight racism in all its forms. Indigenous peoples must feel safe and recognized in their territories, which we all call home.

"These incidents reinforce our resolve as government to advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and build a province where every person can thrive, has access to opportunities and is treated with dignity and respect.

"Today and every day, let's work together to understand our shared history and build a better future for everyone."