Two years of discussions have culminated in a just-signed working arrangement with the Province of BC.
A new Letter of Understanding (LOU) between the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council and the Province of BC is an agreement to have the kinds of discussions necessary for achieving lasting reconciliation.
The LOU is a meaningful first step in attaining the kinds of policy changes necessary to effectively improve the issues most important to members of the W̱SÁNEĆ Nation. This work will include seeking to clarify shared understandings of the Douglas Treaties, and how to move forward together.
“This Letter of Understanding signals an important change in the relationship between W̱SÁNEĆ and the Provincial Government,” said Chief Don Tom, Chairman of The W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council. “Seven generations of W̱SÁNEĆ have pushed for meaningful discussions on the issues which continue to negatively impact the lives and livelihoods of our people. Today, British Columbia and the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council have made a commitment to have those discussions, in conjunction with the Federal Government, and we look forward to working together to create a better future for our W̱SÁNEĆ communities.”
The Province and the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council have been working together since 2021 on the LOU which creates an incremental approach to strengthening their relationship.
“This a significant step in building a strong relationship with the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council, and creates further opportunities for B.C. to engage with the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council on priorities,” said Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. “I raise my hands to all those involved and I am excited to start a new chapter in the relationship with the W̱SÁNEĆ Peoples.”