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

Teacher resigns from SD42 after ‘inappropriate discussions’ with elementary students

Tracy Joseph Fairley resigned from Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows district April 23, 2018

Way cleared for extradition for Maple Ridge pair

Facing murder conspiracy charge in India

Pitt Meadows has clothing bin ban on agenda

Anita’s mother grateful for “slow change” in getting rid of bins that killed her daughter

UPDATE: Maple Ridge has two-day date in court over tent city

Seeking orders on fire safety at homeless camp

Letter: ‘Support those struggling with addictions’

Why can’t our city and council have caring approach?

Police surround rental house in east Maple Ridge

Langley RCMP execute search warrant in relation to robbery.

Surrey needs 350 more cops, activist tells council

‘Right now we are 350 police behind what our population requires,’ politicians are told

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Where mattresses go to die

Mattress Recycling opens the largest of its kind mattress-recycling facility in Hope

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

Millennial Money: Don’t let Instagram envy get you into debt

A full 48 per cent of U.S. households have credit card debt

Jury debates fate of man accused of killing 12-year-old B.C. girl 40 years ago

Police allege Garry Handlen told a cop how he abducted, sexually assaulted and strangled Monica Jack in May 1978

Most Read