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October 28, 2017 2:35 am

First Nations – Cabinet Session Underway

Wednesday, September 9, 2015 @ 10:11 AM

Vancouver, B.C.- The second annual   First Nations Leaders gathering that will  see  First Nations Chiefs meet with  Provincial Cabinet Ministers opened with two announcements from the B.C. Minster of Aboriginal Relations, John Rustad.

Meeting in Vancouver, Rustad announced Grand Chief Ed John has  been appointed as a senior advisor on Aboriginal child welfare to the Minister of Children and Family Development. Working with Aboriginal  leaders, Grand Chief John will help more Aboriginal children and youth secure a safe, caring, permanent family outside of government care.

Rustad also announced the  new  education guide ‘Aboriginal Worldviews and Perspectives in the Classroom: Moving Forward’ has been  developed .   The  guide was developed  to give teachers  ways to incorporate Aboriginal content into schools in every subject and in every grade.  “It is vital that Aboriginal history is included in our school curriculum to educate our youth on Aboriginal culture and ensure the legacy of residential schools is not forgotten” says Rustad .  “This guide is not only an important step toward helping our children understand the Aboriginal perspective but also a step towards reconciliation.”

Rustad also  announced there will be a Provincially sponsored  gathering  for families of  missing and murdered women,  so  the voices of  families and friends can be heard and  the healing can begin.

While Minister Rustad  opened the session with  talk of much progress made with First Nations in the past year, Robert Phillips of the First Nations Summit,  sees  things  differently, ” We didn’t see any action until the last three months really”.  He said  there have been many “good words” spoken about relationships,  but that policies and procedures  need to  change in order to  have real action.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillips says there is “Enormous frustration throughout the Province.”   While recognizing  there has been some progress  “We need to  do better than we have in the last year.”   Grand Chief Phillip  said “We cannot wait for another year of dithering, navel gazing” to move on  the road to reconciliation and  economic prosperity  for First Nations.

“What’s at stake here, without question, is the economic prosperity of British Columbia.”   He  said to achieve  true reconciliation,   it will “Require all to leave  the  comfortable, entrenched positions and meet half way.”

The First Nations leaders will meet with  Cabinet Ministers  today through Friday to  address Aboriginal issues and those issues  specific to  their respective communities.





“We cannot wait for another year of dithering, naval gazing”

I assume navel (belly button) gazing would be the correct word, since naval gazing means looking at ships, specifically those of the navy or a fleet. :-)

Editor’s note:
Thank you for pointing that out….I should know better than to rely on auto spell check.
Elaine Macdonald-Meisner

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