To the Editor,
Re: Forum aims to respond to race issues, April 4.
It saddens me that the writings of one narrow-minded individual have outshined what was a momentous occasion in Nanaimo – the Snuneymuxw First Nation and provincial signing of a reconciliation agreement that will in the words of Chief Doug White, “give my people what is required to begin to hold ourselves up in a new way.”
Don Olsen’s comments in the Nanaimo Daily News about what First Nations have not done belies the accomplishments they have made.
After generations of children were taken from home to residential schools and returned fitting into neither culture, these nations are now taking a stand that is seeing reparation and a resurgence of their cultural identity; an identity the government of Canada tried to erase.
First Nations is now seeking redress for the breaking of ‘contracts’ by government in the form of treaties not honoured. They are moving in a direction that will see their independence from governments that have attempted to control their lives and treated them like children.
The agreement giving Snuneymuxw title to 877 hectares of lands in the Mount Benson area and two acres of culturally significant land in Departure Bay is momentous.
As Chief White states “This is coming home to my people. It is a remarkable achievement. It’s a truly remarkable day.”
As Minister Ida Chong stated “This is not a journey that we travel independently, it is a journey that we can only travel on together.”
I, for one, am proud to take that journey.
Gordon W. Fuller