Premier John Horgan has issued the following statement to mark National Indigenous Peoples Day:
“Twenty-two years ago, National Indigenous Peoples Day was recognized for the first time in Canada as National Aboriginal Day. June 21, the summer solstice, is a day to honour the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples who have lived on this land since time immemorial.
“Today, we celebrate the diverse cultures, knowledge and history of Indigenous peoples, and come together in the spirit of reconciliation and renewal.
“Our government recognizes our responsibility to advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and work together to right historical wrongs.
“Only together, can we begin to heal the traumas of the past. To move forward, we have made reconciliation a priority across government. We are committed to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, and the Tsilhqot’in Supreme Court decision.
“In partnership with Indigenous peoples, we have taken important first steps. The B.C. government made a historic investment to revitalize Indigenous languages, and has taken steps to strengthen the role of Indigenous communities in decisions around child welfare.
“The Province has waived university and college tuition for children who have been in government care. We’re making sure joint decisions are made in emergency situations like wildfires and floods. To address the critical need for new Indigenous housing, this week we announced that we are building 1,750 safe and affordable homes both on and off-reserve. B.C. is the first province in Canada to fund on-reserve housing.
“Together with Indigenous peoples, we’re working hard to build healthy and prosperous communities, where everyone benefits. Every person in B.C. has a role to play in reconciliation. Together, we need to understand our shared history, and work to heal and build a better future. I’m excited for what we can do together.”