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SECHELT – Nathan Cullen, Minister of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship; Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation; and lhe hiwus (Chief) Lenora Joe, shíshálh Nation (shíshálh), have released the following joint statement:
“We stand shoulder to shoulder to denounce in the strongest terms the inflammatory and disrespectful statements and death threats toward the shíshálh Nation and shíshálh people that have occurred throughout the public comment period on the shíshálh swiya Dock Management Plan. This includes recent public responses on social media and the posting of confrontational signage on a shíshálh Nation long house.
“We recognize this is a small minority of people who hold hateful views. Our governments condemn these threats and tactics in the strongest possible terms. We extend our sympathies to those affected by the threats and we affirm our support to all members of shíshálh Nation.
“The Province and shíshálh Nation are committed to a meaningful public engagement process focused on the proposed changes to the shíshálh swiya Dock Management Plan. The vast majority of members of the public have taken the time to provide constructive, important feedback and comments for consideration on proposed amendments to the plan. These comments contribute valuable public input into how our governments work together to form planning and policy tools that support our shared goals.
“We would like to thank those who have already taken time to engage on the proposed changes respectfully and constructively. Public engagement is open on the online commenting platform until Feb. 16, 2024.
“Both parties are committed to addressing racism and to ensuring this engagement process is anti-racist and safeguards humans rights. Vandalism and racism have no place whatsoever in British Columbia’s political discourse, on Sunshine Coast or anywhere else. For clarity, submissions with racist remarks will not be reviewed or considered by the government or shíshálh in any subsequent steps regarding the Dock Management Plan.”
“The Dock Management Plan was developed in 2015 by shíshálh Nation and the Province, informed by the public. It is a public policy that exists to protect archeological and environmental values. Through this engagement process, we have received a lot of comments, and we are encouraged by the feedback we’ve heard. Clearly, a healthy, resilient environment and protection of cultural values is a shared value for all British Columbians and those who call the Sunshine Coast home in any capacity.
“We will continue to undertake this work together. A summary document of ‘What We Have Heard So Far’ will be compiled and shared online in a couple of weeks’ time. Comments received after the summary document is shared will be reviewed and added to information shared with decision-makers. Your contributions during this public engagement will be given full consideration and will assist our governments in determining next steps and continued implementation of dock management in the swiya.”
Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship
lhe hiwus (Chief) Lenora Joe