Today marks the beginning of National Indigenous History Month.
This past week has been a terrible reminder of the legacy of Indian Residential Schools. I am committed to working alongside Indigenous leaders and communities to build a better and more inclusive British Columbia.
We must condemn efforts by some to minimize and rationalize the assimilationist policies of Canada that led to the deaths of 215 children in Kamloops and thousands more across the country. As a parent, I can’t imagine having my daughters taken from me, regardless of motive.
And while we share in the grief, sorrow, and anger at this discovery, we must commit to working together to dismantle the systemic and institutional barriers that Indigenous peoples face to this day.
We have a collective responsibility to work towards meaningful Reconciliation. This is a time to listen with our hearts, while celebrating the rich culture, history, and achievements of Indigenous peoples in British Columbia. It is a testament to their strength and resiliency.