Adam Olsen, Sonia Furstenau and I returned today from the B.C. Cabinet and First Nations Leaders’ Gathering held at the Vancouver Convention Centre. We are very grateful to Scott Fraser, the Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation who extended an invitation to our BC Liberal colleagues and us to participate in this year’s event. Historically, the government has not opened this conference up to opposition MLAs. Minister Fraser clearly recognized that Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation should not be considered a partisan issue and so publicly welcomed us to the event. For this both he and Premier John Horgan deserve a lot of credit.
Adam, Sonia and I had numerous meetings with First Nation Leaders and will be following up with a number of them in the weeks ahead. At the end of the conference, we released a statement which I reproduce below.
Weaver and Olsen statements on First Nations Leadership Gathering
For immediate release
September 7, 2017
VANCOUVER, B.C. – Andrew Weaver and Adam Olsen released the following statement today on the First Nations Leadership Gathering. Weaver, Olsen and Sonia Furstenau attended the two-day gathering in Vancouver.
“It was an honour to attend this year’s First Nations Leadership Gathering,” said Weaver.
“We are proud that the adoption of UNDRIP, the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Tsilhqot’in Decision are foundational pieces of our agreement with the B.C. NDP and we remain committed to supporting their implementation.”
Yesterday, Olsen was appointed spokesperson for the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.
“From our meetings this week it is clear that there is frustration with the status quo, but also a sense of hope that there is much opportunity to renew government’s relationship with First Nations people in British Columbia,” added Olsen.
“The conversations had this week and the MOU signed on the B.C. Indigenous Justice Strategy are good first steps. However, there remains much work to do. It is imperative that renewing this relationship be an underpinning of all we do so that we can ensure the economic, environmental and social prosperity of our province.”
Jillian Oliver, Press Secretary
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