BC Indian Chiefs reject Canada 150 celebrations

Kelowna - First Nations leaders won’t support history which reflects 150 years of genocidal policies

The Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) says it cannot take part in Canada 150 celebrations and is asking local indigenous leaders to spread the word.

The UBCIC met earlier this week at Seabird Island near Agassiz and passed a motion that said Canada 150 is not representative of the present realities of indigenous people.

“We cannot participate in and will not celebrate the federal government’s colonial notions of our indigenous histories, a history which reflects 150 years of genocidal policies in an attempt to eradicate our cultural, spiritual, and political systems, alongside our universal fundamental human rights to exist as indigenous peoples,” read the motion, passed by the UBCIC council.

“We invite and encourage all Canadians to recognize, celebrate and uphold un-romanticized indigenous’ histories, and the continual sovereignty of our nations while participating in Canada 150 events.”

The motion was moved by chief Wayne Christian of the Splats’in First Nation and seconded by chief Harvey McLeod of the Upper Nicola Band.

The UBCIC pointed out that the Canadian government has spent significant money on Canada 150 celebrations—in the amount of $500 million—while continuing to critically under-fund First Nations education and other issues impacting indigenous peoples across Canada.

“Canada 150 is not representative of the history of our lands and territories, or of our present realities as indigenous peoples,” stated the UBCIC, saying much work is needed to be done to reverse the damage done to First Nation people.

“A process of decolonization is required to reverse the impact of assimilation policies aimed at destroying our cultures, spiritualities, histories, languages, laws and systems of governance,” it stated. “Decolonization does not masquerade as a celebration of colonization that is ongoing today and continues to perpetuate cultural genocide. Decolonization will involve a fierce struggle by indigenous peoples to reinvigorate our own laws and systems of governance, and ignite within our own peoples hope and vision for our tomorrows with the recognition and knowledge of our true place among the nations of the world.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

149 cases of COVID-19 linked to Kelowna

Nine new cases were reported in the Interior Health region over the long weekend’s four reporting periods

Former Kelowna resident makes fundraising goal for cancer fertility treatments

Rebecca Hamilton recieved a boost in a battle against cancer - $25,000 for post chemo treatments

No appointment needed: COVID-19 testing access expanded in Kelowna

First-come, first-serve testing centre opens in downtown Kelowna

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Passengers escape unharmed from destructive houseboat fire in Shuswap

Cause of blaze on Mara Lake under investigation, flames erupt at 2 a.m. Aug. 4

Alberta vehicles allegedly damaged in Summerland

Lug nuts loosened, windows smashed in several instances in Okanagan community

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

UPDATE: Water bombers attack wildfire north of Sicamous above Shuswap Lake

Wildfire BC reports fire is still classified out of control, 25 personnel on ground

First degree murder charges for North Okanagan woman

59-year-old woman charged in Round Lake suspicious death incident

Splatsin Elder struggles to stop tubers from accessing his private property

Nathan Kinbasket has a certificate of possession on the area

Most Read