June 21, 2021 marks the 25th anniversary for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the heritage, diverse cultures and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. June 21st also represents the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. This day was chosen because Indigenous peoples have celebrated their culture and heritage on or close to this date for generations.
A day known for celebration has become a day of sorrow as the 215 unmarked graves of children were found in Kamloops, B.C. a few weeks ago. Terry TeeGee, the regional chief of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations, states: “It’s been a very important time in the past few weeks with the finding of 215 unmarked graves of children in Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Nation and other unmarked grave sites being searched around residential schools. So really, it’s reflecting on our current state of affairs and our relations with federal and provincial governments that have always been difficult.”
Indigenous peoples have undergone generations of violence, death and assimilation. The B.C. Wildlife Federation is committed to the process of reconciliation and creating an open dialogue to listen, learn, and grow. On June 15, the B.C. Wildlife Federation, represented by Chuck Zuckerman, President of the B.C. Wildlife Federation, Rob Chipman, Chair of BCWF Indigenous Relations Committee, and Jesse Zeman, BCWF Director of Fish and Wildlife Restoration, met with the Honourable Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, discussing reconciliation through conservation. The BCWF is working hard with governments to strengthen the B.C. Wildlife Federation’s relationship with First Nations by restoring fish and wildlife populations together.
Tonight, the BCWF is hosting a virtual town hall to support an open dialogue for a proactive and collaborative discussion on topics such as:
- Mutual interest in conservation and predator control
- Shared concerns about habitat loss and degradation
- Interpretation and roll out of UNDRIP legislation in B.C.
- Successes and challenges of BCWF’s Indigenous Relations portfolio
Register for the event here.
Cordasco, L. (2021, June 20). National Indigenous Peoples Day a time for reflection, not celebration, this year. Vancouversun; Vancouver Sun. https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/national-indigenous-peoples-day-a-time-for-reflection-not-celebration-this-year