Editorial: Owning it

The road to healing for First Nations people all across Canada got underway some time ago, although there have been many bumps...

The road to healing for First Nations people all across Canada got underway some time ago, although there have been many bumps along the way.

One of the most important acts, which was entirely symbolic but nonetheless critical, was the public apology by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2008. This was issued to all the survivors of the residential school system, and it served to set into motion the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Over a six-year period, the commission has gathered plenty of evidence to show that, beyond a doubt, this painful part of Canada’s past has affected present-day relationships between aboriginal people and other Canadians. The residential school legacy has also deeply affected aboriginal communities and families.

The commission’s report made a host of recommendations. These need to be taken seriously and a plan looking at implementation needs to be drawn up.

However, it is important to point out that leaving action on these recommendations to various levels of governments — particularly the federal government — would likely lead to more problems. The feds have responsibility for aboriginal relations, but have handled the file poorly, throughout Canada’s existence.

Governments have some bad habits. One is to make  solutions so complex, and involve so many layers of bureaucracy, that concrete action leading to genuine change is difficult. Often, it is impossible.

By contrast, First Nations across B.C. and in many other parts of Canada have taken important steps in recent years which will lead to real and meaningful change. They have done so by getting actively involved in the economy, education and other important areas.

While it required court action to make provinces and Ottawa see the necessity of this, it is happening in many areas of the country.

Bands have set up successful business corporations, creating jobs, leading to economic activity, emphasizing sustainability and, most importantly, leading to a new sense of purpose.

Similar things are happening in many other First Nations. Young, energetic leaders are taking action on many fronts to improve the lives of their people.

 

Just Posted

Man charged in 2018 hit-and-run in Maple Ridge

Michael Howard Thomas was charged on July 19 in provincial court

Rescue puppies from Taiwan fill local families’ homes with love and hope

Pitt Meadows realtor investing time in introducing rescue puppies to their forever homes

Pride flags stolen from Maple Ridge church

Went missing sometime Friday night, says Golden Ears United reverend

Whonnock man tried but could not save victim of Maple Ridge fire

Michel Lefebvre was among many who attempted to enter the burning building

Maple Ridge musician’s newest album about “unrequitedness”

Rob Taylor released Passionate Crime earlier this year

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Surrey court clerk files human rights complaint related to concussion

Deborah A. Ryane claims her employer discriminated against her on basis of mental disability

Food fight: Liberals, Tories trade shots as pre-campaign battles intensify

Health Canada released an overhauled document that did away with traditional food groups and portion sizes

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

25 new wheelchair-accessible cabins open at Cultus Lake Provincial Park

Maple Bay Campground is now home to 25 new wheelchair friendly cabins, a first for BC Parks

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Most Read