VICTORIA— B.C. New Democrat Leader John Horgan released the following statement in on National Aboriginal Day:
“National Aboriginal Day is an opportunity for people of every background to come together to acknowledge the achievements and histories of Indigenous peoples.
“It is a day to celebrate the tremendous cultural legacy of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples.
“It is also a day to recognize the resilience, creativity and inner strength demonstrated by Indigenous people across this country every day, even in the face of incredible discrimination.
“This year we have a lot to celebrate here in B.C. – with a record number of Indigenous people elected to our B.C. legislature, to all three parties.
“But we still have so much farther to go. Three years ago the Tsilhqot’in decision affirmed the government of British Columbia must respect Indigenous rights and title, yet little has changed about how Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberals act.
“Again, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission exposed the horrors of residential schools and how Canada’s colonial policies tore apart communities and families, yet many of the 94 calls to action have seen no progress.
“It has been ten years since the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by governments around the world. Yet here in Canada, and British Columbia, Indigenous peoples are still waiting for governments to accept rights and title as a reality.
“We can and we must do better. I can’t wait to get started.
“I hope that this National Aboriginal Day you have a chance to celebrate with your community, and I hope that next year, we will have even more to celebrate.”