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October 28, 2017 12:28 am

Province Joins Aboriginal Community at Family Gathering

Sunday, January 31, 2016 @ 4:02 AM

Prince George, B.C. – A provincial gathering is being held in Prince George today through Tuesday to support healing for families of missing and murdered aboriginal women.

There are several co-hosts of this gathering including the Province, the First Nations Leadership Council, Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, the Minister’s Advisory Council on Aboriginal Women, Carrier Sekani Tribal Council and Carrier Sekani Family Services.

Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister John Rustad says “the gathering is provincial in nature and we’ll have various organizations from across the province.  Right now we have about 380 family members that have registered to come as well as various support workers and counsellors.  So we’re anticipating there will be somewhere between 450 and 500 people that will be in attendance for the two-day family gathering.”

It stems from a Memorandum of Understanding signed in June 2014 by the Province, First Nations Leadership Council and Metis Nation BC, confirming their commitment to end violence against aboriginal women and girls.

Rustad says “last year was the first time that there was a national roundtable on missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.  I led a delegation to Ottawa for that discussion and we had about ten family members that came out and participated.  When we sat down and talked and shared some of the stories it became really clear that the family members needed a way for their voices to be heard, for government to kind of learn from this but also to work with the families around healing and what the next steps should be.”

Rustad says a private welcoming meal is being held tonight, “and then the event officially starts on Monday morning and wraps up late in the afternoon on Tuesday.”  He says there are several sessions and cultural activities that will be happening over the two days “but I am going to be dedicating pretty much most of my time to be available for family members to sit down and share their experience and information so that as a province we can learn and hopefully find ways to make improvements.”

Rustad says Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton as well as Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Morris will be joining him for this gathering.

Asked how the end goal of ending the violence can be reached Rustad says “that’s a very good question.  Part of what we’re doing with this gathering is to receive input from the family members around what the national inquiry should be looking at and the types of things we would like to see as a province come out of that inquiry.  We’re hoping as well that how the justice system works, how the policing system works, these types of things, we’re hopeful that this may be able to help guide some of the changes.”

“As well of course is the recommendation that came from the Oppal inquiry down on the lower mainland that’s designed to be not so much a legal perspective but really more of a personal and direct opportunity for members to be able to share.”

The family gathering over the next two days is being held at the Civic Centre.


Hmmm..lets see now!And what did crusty’s Libs do for these Missing women??They should burn them at the stake…just another Photo op for these goofballs…Funny they all White…EH!

Ya I’ve noticed that natives have been getting a lot whiter over the years too ..

Diazamo . Same here . Happens every winter . Where oh where do tans go in the winter ? Some kind of magic , eh ?

The reason why there seems to be a lighter shade of natives is the “%” of native was changed awhile back.. If memory serves it used to be 1/4, then changed to 1/8 and now I think it’s 1/16. If it gets changed to 1/32 anyone who’s family has been in Canada since 1900 would be native.

You can also be considered native if they want you to be.. Friend of mine who parents where born in Sweden was made native so she could play on the all native softball team.. That was 25 yrs ago.

I wonder if 51% was the magic number if it would lower the over representation of FN in prison and also reduce the stress on FN funding as the monies would go to true FN. I can’t imagine the damage it does to a child not being allowed to recognize a significant part of their true heritage, or having to feel the guilt of it as its taught now if they do.

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