Premier John Horgan has issued the following statement in support of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's exoneration of six Tsilhqot’in Nation war Chiefs:
“We welcome statements from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau exonerating six Tsilhqot’in war Chiefs and recognizing their wrongful hanging in 1864 and 1865. British Columbia also recognized the Chiefs as warriors and exonerated them in 2014 with full support from the Legislature.
“Five Chiefs were imprisoned, tried and executed in October 1864 after accepting an invitation to discuss peace terms to end the Chilcotin War. A sixth Chief was hanged the following year. The dishonourable treatment of Tsilhqot’in leaders more than 150 years ago by the Colony of British Columbia continues to be a source of suffering for the Tsilhqot’in people.
“Genuine reconciliation with Indigenous peoples includes acknowledging and owning past injustices, and speaking truth to our shared and troubled history. We’re hopeful the acknowledgement from both the federal and provincial governments that these leaders had committed no crime or wrongdoing, and were honourably defending their lands and their peoples, will help continue the process of healing within the Tsilhqot’in Nation and across British Columbia and Canada.
“British Columbia shares Canada’s commitment to transforming the Indigenous-Crown relationship. Today is another positive step in building trust, as we work towards a brighter and more-just future with Indigenous peoples.”