VICTORIA— New Democrats are calling on the B.C. Liberal government to show their commitment to building positive relationships with First Nations by passing the First Nations Heritage Protection and Conservation Act.
“This bill would close loopholes in the Heritage Conservation Act to better protect First Nations cultural sites and artifacts,” said New Democrat MLA Maurine Karagianis, who introduced the bill for a sixth time to the legislature.
“The B.C. Liberals know what to say about the need to respect First Nations and build stronger relationships, but then they do what they want. B.C. First Nations deserve real action to protect sacred sites and heritage objects. The B.C. Liberals can show they are ready to improve relationships with First Nations by passing this bill.”
“Recent events on the First Nations burial grounds on Grace Islet serve to highlight the urgent need for better protection,” said Gary Holman, the New Democrat MLA for Saanich-North and the Islands, where Grace Islet is located.
“While most communities would be horrified by the concept of building houses on top of cemeteries, First Nations burial sites have frequently been destroyed by highways or housing. It is wrong and unacceptable.”