Thursday, June 10, 2021

Ellis Ross speaks to Reconciliation and the way forward as part of Legislature session Wednesday

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross followed up on some Social media themes from earlier in the day on Wednesday, taking some of the time available in the Wednesday Session of the Legislature to provide some thoughts on how British Columbia and Canada, may be able to move towards constructive work in areas of Reconciliation.

As we noted yesterday, the MLA through his Social media feed commented on the #CancelCanadaDay conversation currently coursing through the computers of the nation.

Mr. Ross expanded on some of those points with his Statement to the Legislature Wednesday afternoon, his commentary making note of the gathering on the Legislature Lawn on Tuesday in response to last month's discovery of the remains of 215 children at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. 

"The discovery of the remains of 215 children buried in unmarked graves near the site of the former Kamloops Indian residential school has shocked the world and left us all struggling with how best to respond. When local First Nations in Vancouver Island gathered on the front lawn of the Legislature yesterday, the Elders, many of them being survivors themselves, all agreed that the time for talk has ended. The real heal, reconciliation, can only take place if we finally face the past directly." 

Expanding on the conversations that could come in the days ahead, the Skeena MLA noted of a number of other historical and current chapters of Canadian wrongs and how there is an opportunity to build a better future.

"It all serves as a reminder that Canada does have certain aspects of our collective history that must be remembered. However, it also serves as a demonstration of how far we have come as a country. Canada is not perfect, nor is our history, and I haven't come across a perfect country yet. But we must be honest with ourselves and face up to our collective past. 

We can't change what's taken place, but we must acknowledge the damage in the present. This will create the right conditions to build a better future, a fully inclusive future. 

The 215 children are just one reflection of terrible policies introduced by provincial and federal governments that negatively affected Aboriginal people in British Columbia and Canada for decades. We can only rectify this if we all work in cooperation together. That's the only way to fight the same type of incident that killed a Muslim family in Toronto last Sunday. 

Together, First Nations and non–First Nations can breathe life into law through section 35 of the constitution and, perhaps even more importantly, with that well-used but misunderstood word "reconciliation."

The Skeena MLA's full statement can be reviewed here, as well as from the video presentation offered through his Social Media Feed.

More notes on the work of Mr. Ross at the Legislature can be reviewed from our archive page here.

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