Let’s hope parties can move forward

A recent report from the Conference Board of Canada says B.C.’s education system is the best in Canada.

A recent  report from the Conference Board of Canada  says  B.C.’s education system is the best in Canada.

On the international scene,  our province  placed third overall, just behind Japan and Finland. Surely our teachers had something to do with these high standings.

That being said, the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling in favour of the Xeni Gwetin’s land claim has revealed some gaps in our knowledge, if not our education.

Maybe the decision startled people because so many of us, including politicians, don’t know enough about B.C. history or the Canadian Constitution. When B.C. joined Canada, nobody bothered to get treaties with the First Nations. That  boo boo has been perpetuated by federal and provincial governments who have found it convenient to act as though Aboriginal rights were extinguished, not “recognized and affirmed” as the Supreme Court has ruled.

No matter how you feel about the decision, you have to admire and congratulate the Tsilhqot’in Nation for their persistence in soldiering on with this David versus Goliath process. Starting it all in 1992 were the Xeni Gwet’in, a Band small in numbers but large in spirit. Chief Roger William led the charge from the beginning. He is known for his soft voice, engaging smile, and determination.

What next? The ramifications of the ruling  are huge; and like it or not, there is no appealing the Supreme Court’s interpretation of our laws. At the moment, the B.C. and federal governments are “reviewing” or “analyzing” the decision. The province has apologized to ethnic immigrants for past injustices but acting on the Supreme Court’s advice for reconciliation with First Nations will require more  than  apologies. The politicians (and some industries) will have to show a lot more good will and understanding than they have in the past if the province is to “move forward”  on  land use projects.  Let’s hope they get on with it ASAP.

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The next welding program being offered at Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake campus will be tuition-free thanks to federal funding. (Thompson Rivers University photo)
So you want to be a welder?

TRU Williams Lake offering tuition-free program

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is an independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C.’s 1st vaccine-induced blood clot case detected in Interior Health

Interior Health also recorded 52 new cases of COVID-19

Williams Lake RCMP are asking the public for assistance locating Marion Louise Billy. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake RCMP seek woman wanted for theft, weapon possession

RCMP released the information Thursday, May 6

Audrey McKinnon was officially named the NDP nominee for the federal riding of Cariboo-Prince George. (Twitter)
Audrey McKinnon confirmed as Cariboo Prince-George federal NDP nominee

The nomination comes during speculation the federal government

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent sails past a iceberg in Lancaster Sound, Friday, July 11, 2008. The federal government is expected to end nearly two years of mystery today and reveal its plan to build a new, long overdue heavy icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver, Quebec shipyards to each get new heavy icebreaker, cost remains a mystery

Vancouver’s Seaspan Shipyards and Quebec-based Chantier Davie will each build an icebreaker for the coast guard

Most Read