The Northern Nations of BC, (Kaska Dena, Tahltan and Taku River Tlingit), have appealed to Premier Christy Clark to support and complete the reconciliation initiatives that have been undertaken between the Ministry of Children and Family Development, and the BC Northern Nations, and to broaden the Reconciliation Process.
Conversations between the leadership of the 3 Northern Nations and the Ministry of Children and Family Development led to the establishment of The Stikine Wholistic Working Group in 2009. This group has since been working in partnership with the MCFD on engaging their communities and restoring traditional practice. Building on this work, the summer of 2010 saw the historic signing of memorandum of understanding between the 3 Nations and the Ministry of Children and Family Development.
“The commitment that has been shown to the 3 Northern Nations by the Ministry of Children and Family Development has led to trust and has increased our ability to work in partnership,” said Annita McPhee, Chair of the Tahltan First Nation. “This work has just begun, and we are hopeful that that this work will be able to continue.”
Together, The Ministry of Children and Family Development and the 3 Northern Nations are working on other key initiatives, most significantly work regarding healing and reconciliation with respect to Residential School Survivors, their families and communities.
“The inter-generational trauma that we see in our communities resulting from the Residential School runs deep,” said John Ward, spokesperson for the Taku River Tlingit. “It is heartening to see the commitment shown to us by the Ministry of Children and Family Development, as we believe that reconciliation and healing is essential in addressing the trauma and harm caused by the Residential School.”
The Northern Nations have sent a letter to Premier Christy Clark, applauding her campaign platform – that being, family first, and share her view on the importance of building strong, healthy families and communities. They wrote seeking her commitment to support their initiatives with MCFD as well as requesting her to meet with the Northern Nations to chart the work forward on a broader reconciliation process.
“For years we have felt unserved,” said Deputy Chief Peter Stone, Daylu Dena Council. “The Ministry of Children and Family Development have talked with us, listened to our voices and have partnered with us to ensure the health of our children, families and communities. We are appealing to Premier Christy Clark to continue the Government’s support of these and other important reconciliation initiatives.”