Statement on the summit between First Nations leaders and the B.C. government

VICTORIA— New Democrat leader John Horgan and New Democrat Aboriginal relations spokesperson Scott Fraser released the following statement on the summit between First Nations leaders and the B.C. Liberal government:

“New Democrats are pleased to see that after years of inaction the B.C. Liberal government is turning their attention towards the goal of reconciliation and building mutual respect with First Nations. This day has been too long in coming, and this opportunity must not be squandered.

“First Nations leaders are coming to this summit with good will and a desire to make progress. The B.C. Liberal government must act in good faith to address longstanding issues and back their words up with hard commitments.

“Too often we’ve seen how Premier Clark says the right things, but doesn’t follow through. First Nations leaders and all British Columbians deserve better than big promises and elaborate photo ops without real action. It is long past time for this government to get to work building real relationships with First Nations, founded on trust, respect, and recognition.

“New Democrats are hopeful that if the premier is prepared to have discussions in good faith, and makes firm commitments on behalf of her government, the September 11 meeting will be the first step in making real progress towards reconciliation. British Columbians, including the First Nations leaders at the table, deserve no less.”