VIU chancellor leads reconciliation panel

NANAIMO – Vancouver Island Economic Summit aims to increase understanding.

The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance’s annual summit features 16 sessions focused on a broad range of topics.

One of these this year will address the theme of reconciliation and what this means on Vancouver Island.

According to a press release from the alliance, reconciliation with indigenous peoples is a legal imperative, mandated by the country’s constitution, the court and Canada’s endorsement of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Key to reconciliation is the importance of indigenous laws and legal orders engaging when governments, First Nation communities and business make decisions that impact Indigenous peoples and their land.

There remains confusion about what indigenous laws are and how these laws hold the promise for a better future.

Here on Vancouver Island and coastal B.C., there are treaties which contain indigenous law.

Learning how to respect these treaties provides an opportunity to participate in a reconciliation which is given shape by the terms of these treaties.

Sponsored by Black Press, this session will feature Louise Mandell, chancellor for Vancouver Island University; Roy Francis, chief negotiator for Tla’ amin Nation; and Ardith Walkem, partner with Cedar and Sage Law Corporation. Janina Stajic from Vancouver Island University will be moderating.

The economic summit takes place at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre Oct. 26-27. For more information or to register, please visit the website www.viea.ca.