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January 30, 2024
(xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and s əlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C.) The First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) is deeply alarmed about recent posts circulating on social media showing a confrontational sign affixed to a shíshálh Nation (shíshálh) longhouse that includes untrue and misleading statements about the shíshálh swiya Dock Management Plan (DMP), and inflammatory and disrespectful comments about shíshálh and shíshálh people. The FNLC categorically denounces all of this abhorrent behaviour in the strongest terms and reaffirms its support for shíshálh and all shíshálh people as they undertake the important work of protecting and preserving shíshálh swiya in partnership with the Province.
Working together as governments, shíshálh and the Province jointly developed the DMP in 2015 with the objective of protecting and restoring the environment while allowing for thoughtful and focused dock development. Prior to development of the DMP the largely unchecked development of hundreds of docks within shíshálh swiya caused immense damage to cultural resources, fisheries, and the environment. The DMP was developed over a decade based on existing standards, advice from third party experts, and shíshálh knowledge keepers.
Sadly, this important and transformative work has been marred by the hateful actions of a select few. Throughout the public comment period on the DMP shíshálh Nation and shíshálh people have been the targets of death threats, threats of harm, racism, and other disturbing acts.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, UBCIC President, stated, “In this transformative time where the inherent and Aboriginal rights of First Nations are slowly beginning to be recognized it is more important than ever that we stand united against all forms of racism and discrimination. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the shíshálh Nation and the Province as they work together to advance reconciliation, and unequivocally denounce the actions of those who seek to derail this important work with uninformed and hateful words and actions.”
BCAFN Regional Chief Terry Teegee remarked, “Hate and racism have no place in our society. It is far past time that all those who reside in British Columbia understand that it is unacceptable for the basic human rights of First Nations to be trampled on, and that reconciliation benefits everyone. We fully and unequivocally support the shíshálh Nation, all shíshálh people, and the Province as they undertake the hard and courageous work of reconciliation.”
“We must not allow for the hateful views of a select few to distract us from the important work that lies ahead if we are to achieve true and lasting reconciliation”, stated Robert Phillips of the First Nations Summit Political Executive. They added, “shíshálh Nation has shown time and again that they are ready and willing to treat those who live within shíshálh swiya with respect and courtesy. We stand firmly with
them as they carry out the good work to steward and protect their swiya for all future generations.”
The First Nations Leadership Council is comprised of the political executives of the BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN), First Nations Summit (FNS), and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC).
For further information, contact:
Robert Phillips, FNS, Phone:
Annette Schroeter, BCAFN Phone:
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, UBCIC, Phone: