John Horgan and the BC NDP are committed to making reconciliation a priority. We believe First Nations in BC deserve respect and reconciliation is a key part of a better future for all of us.
We know that 16 years of BC Liberal neglect has set progress back on this front.
Three years ago, the Supreme Court of Canada set down law on the legal rights of First Nations people in this province. The message was clear: Aboriginal Title and Rights are a matter of law and justice.
Here are a few of the key commitments a BC NDP government will make to First Nations communities:
1- It’s time for action
We’ll accept and act on the 94 Calls to Action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report. We’ll work with First Nations and the Government of Canada to do this.
We believe this is the right step to redressing the legacy of residential schools and advancing the process of reconciliation.
2- Setting the standards for the treatment of Indigenous People
The BC NDP will adopt the principles of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which has been accepted by 148 nations, including the Government of Canada. Ministries will be tasked with figuring out how to bring the principles of the Declaration into action.
The BC Liberal government will not endorse the Declaration but we believe the document is an issue of human rights.
3. Supporting Indigenous cultures, communities and histories
The BC NDP will develop a curriculum for Indigenous languages and for Indigenous history in Canada and British Columbia.
That means we’ll provide support to Indigenous communities seeking to revitalize connections to their languages.
4. Helping Aboriginal children connect and stay with their families and communities
The BC NDP will implement the recommendations from Grand Chief Ed John’s report and provide better supports to keep Aboriginal children at home and out of care.
When Aboriginal children do enter care, we’ll ensure that there is a plan for every child in care to connect with their culture and communities, and that there is a plan for a permanent, stable home.
According to BC children’s advocate, in 2016, 120 children in care or receiving services from the BC Liberal provincial government died. This is a horrific tragedy and we can’t afford to lose any more young lives like Alex Gervais.
5. Creating jobs and opportunity
The BC NDP will seek partnerships with First Nations in meeting renewable energy targets, building on First Nations’ demonstrated leadership on solar energy.
We’ll also seek partnerships with First Nations as part of our commitment to build 114,000 quality housing units in the next ten years.
And we’ll mandate government training and apprenticeship programs to prioritize training for First Nations in British Columbia.
The BC NDP is committed to making true reconciliation a government priority.
The BC NDP is honoured to have the support of Grand Chief Stewart Phillip. The Grand Chief and his wife Joan were at an event with John Horgan in Penticton on Saturday.
We know that First Nations people in BC are done with the status quo under the BC Liberals and so are we.
You can check out our full list of recommendations in our platform here.
“It’s time to act on reconciliation.” - John Horgan