Opinion: The province’s version of reconciliation is failing B.C. communities

Land claims impacting livelihoods, fracturing rural communities. Scott Ellis.

First and foremost, the Guide Outfitters Association of BC (GOABC) supports reconciliation with First Nations. Our industry is rooted in First Nations history and remains closely tied to it to this day, with more than 30 First Nations or First Nations people owning guide territories, and many more involved in the sector. We understand that reconciliation is complex and multifaceted.

True reconciliation must be more than signatures and celebrations. It must heal communities—both Indigenous and non-Indigenous. If anyone who calls B.C. home is left behind, then we all still have work to do. Our concern is not with the intent of reconciliation, but rather in how it is being executed by the B.C. government. The B.C. government has left business undone.

The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in the Tŝilhqot’in case—also known as the Williams decision—was unprecedented and left the provincial government responsible for finding a way to make things right. Government’s response has been poor, slow, incomplete and grossly unacceptable to the B.C. families who have lost their livelihoods. A decade has passed since the court decision, and the B.C. government has totally and completely failed to address the impacts to third parties who do not appear to have been considered relevant to the process, and whose lives have been upended.

Getty Images

Site Maintenance in Progress

We appreciate your patience while we update certain features for our members.
Please note you may not be able to log in for the next 24 hours.