Recognizing Treaty will Benefit all of Nanaimo

Tue. May. 15/12
Recognizing treaty will benefit all of Nanaimo
Gordon W. Fuller

I recently attended the Douglas Treaties conference and have to say that as a conversation regarding treaties this was most enlightening.

It also was enlightening, though these days not unexpected, to see only one member of our city council attending the conference. A sad statement when one considers the Mayor of Lantzville was present. Our own was not.

Even Nanaimo's Economic Development Corporation, despite recent blunders, had some board and staff members in attendance.

Canadians like to think of themselves as being a truly multicultural society tolerant of race, religion and cultural beliefs of others. While this may be truer today, Canada's past has not always been reflective of tolerance and in fact has been blatantly discriminatory at times. Truth be told, it has been far more discriminatory, for far longer, to its first peoples.

It is a testament to the strength and fortitude of the Snuneymuxw and other First Nations people that much of their culture and language has survived the attempts of governments to erase and assimilate.

By recognizing treaty rights and working with the Snuneymuxw towards their economic well being, we will ultimately strengthen the economic well being of Nanaimo as a whole. It is indeed time to build a future together.