Paul Joffe

Treaty centre promotes reconciliation

NANAIMO - Advisory council to VIU Centre for Pre-Confederation Treaties and Reconciliation holds first meeting.

Aboriginal leaders and legal minds from across Canada gathered to share ideas and form strategies on ways Canada’s First Nations can forward the work of reconciliation at Vancouver Island University.

The Advisory Council for VIU’s Centre for Pre-Confederation Treaties and Reconciliation held its inaugural meeting on campus Tuesday as part of Reconciliation Road: Join the Journey with VIU, a week of events to engage people in the reconciliation process.

Advisory council members include Grand Chief Konrad Sioui of the Huron-Wendat Nation, former representative of the Assembly of First Nations in Geneva, Switzerland; Grand Chief Edward John of the Tl’azt’en Nation, a lawyer and member of the First Nations Summit Task Group; Chief Wilton Littlechild of the Ermineskin Cree Nation, a lawyer, former member of Parliament and founder of International Organization of Indigenous Resource Development; Tsartlip First Nation chief Don Tom, representing the Douglas Treaty Nations on Vancouver Island; and Louise Mandell, one of Canada’s foremost aboriginal rights lawyers and VIU chancellor.

“The Centre for Pre-Confederation Treaties and Reconciliation was established a couple of years ago and it has those two main themes of activity around the pre-confederation treaties across the country – so it’s national in scope – and also the themes of reconciliation,” said Doug White III, centre director and Snuneymuxw First Nation acting chief.

The centre is small, just an office with a couple of chairs and a bookcase, but an important central point to bring together ideas and efforts by First Nations groups across Canada.

“It is sort of an idea of bringing together these disparate elements that are working in isolation and drawing theme together,” White said.

White cited, as a localized example, the centre’s reconciliation work can help bring together and coordinate regional First Nations, the urban aboriginal population and the justice system, including the courts, police, corrections, and organizations delivering services, such as alcohol and drug abuse treatment and anger management.

“We, I think, can be the glue that brings things together in a way that everybody wants to come together, but haven’t found a way to do it,” White said.

Advisory council members met with students during a lunch break at Shq’apthut: A Gathering Place, where White and others discussed the history of treaties and reconciliation efforts between First Nations and the Canadian government before the advisory council was joined by Shawn Atleo, former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, for the council’s afternoon session.

Just Posted

Warrant issued for man who wielded machete across from Nanaimo’s tent city last year

William Robert Francis Carrigan failed to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo on Tuesday

Working smoke alarms found in fewer than one-third of residential fires in Nanaimo

Nanaimo Fire Rescue urges residents to install smoke alarms in homes

Nanaimo Ladysmith education support workers’ deal ratified

CUPE Local 606, Nanaimo school district and bargaining agent ratify deal, which runs till June 2022

VIU professor writes over Shakespeare in new book of poetry

In ‘Sonnet’s Shakespeare,’ Sonnet L’Abbé superimposes her own poems over the sonnets of the Bard

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Protest misleading pricing

Not all of us want or can afford to buy in multiples to get a lower price, says letter writer

VIDEO: Title of 25th Bond movie is ‘No Time to Die’

The film is set to be released in April 2020

B.C. father tells judge he did not kill his young daughters

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

B.C. seniors allowed more choice to stay in assisted living

Province doesn’t need to wait for a complaint to investigate care, Adrian Dix says

City of Nanaimo says it’s ‘back on track’ with waste collection

Mechanical issues, new development stressing system

Rosemount cooked diced chicken linked to listeria case in B.C.

The symptoms of listeria include vomiting, nausea, fever, muscle aches

Retired B.C. fisherman wins record $60M Lotto Max jackpot

Joseph Katalinic won the biggest Lotto Max prize ever awarded

Most Read