LETTER: Indigenous rights cannot be denied

From reader Michael Jessen

Scientists know that First Nations people have lived in what is now Canada for at least 12,000 years. Europeans arrived about 500 years ago and colonized the land.

At first, Indigenous people were treated as allies. As more and more settlers arrived from Europe and the demand for land increased, administrators began to regard First Nations populations as dependents and an impediment to growth and prosperity. This began decades of legislated assimilation.

The laws of Indigenous peoples, including the Wet’suwet’en, predate those of Canada, are equally authoritative, and are entitled to respect. The Crown has a moral duty to engage in good faith negotiations with the Wet’suwet’en to resolve the issue of ownership and jurisdiction over their ancestral lands. These negotiations must be recognized as being between two systems of legal and political authority.

Denial of Indigenous rights cannot continue just because it inconveniences so-called economic development by self-interested governments and corporations. If Indigenous people do not have the right to veto pipeline projects impacting their lands and waters, who does? I want Canadian provinces and the federal government to stop basing their economies on the oppression of Indigenous peoples’ rights. Aboriginal land title issues must be resolved.

Michael Jessen

Longbeach

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

Just Posted

Provincial search and rescue award a surprise for Kaslo’s Don Hunt

Hunt is one of six recipients of the Public Safety Lifeline volunteer awards

Woman who assaulted downtown Nelson business owner sentenced

Nicole Brown was found guilty of assaulting Linda Randall during an attempted shoplift in 2017

RDCK reduces number of properties under evacuation alert from Talbott Creek Fire to 46

Improved visibility has allowed helicopters to resume water suppression efforts on fire

Art as reconciliation: Ymir artist hosting BC Culture Days event

Damian John will lead a workshop titled Exploring Reconciliation Through Creativity

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

16 COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health region

One person is in hospital and 34 people are isolating

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

Most Read