Economic Reconciliation

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May 20, 2021

If we all came from a values-based approach, then we may not be in the current state of our world’s demise where our children are wondering why they are here.

Indigenous peoples have unique assets and opportunities but face on-going exclusion and inequalities, and addressing them is critical to achieving economic balance for all 204 First Nations Communities in B.C. So how do we achieve that? There’s no easy answer to that question. For some First Nations, it’s going to be a long journey, and for others, it’s about finding balance in a dominant colonial approach to economics, and for non-Indigenous communities, it’s beginning the real, truthful, and healing journey of reconciliation with neighboring First Nations.

It begins with identifying your values and how they align with the work you do. I know this is not a practice in our current economic system, but this is a must to work in partnership with any First Nation. If we all came from a values-based approach, then we may not be in the current state of our world’s demise where our children are wondering why they are here. Understanding reciprocity, responsibility and accountability to everything around you and to the generations of family, friends and community that you won’t know and to those who you loved and have now gone. Stop placing Indigenous or traditional knowledge as separate from western knowledge and science. There are benefits to both ways of knowing and teachings that we can truly benefit from.

How many of you can say you know an Indigenous person, are friends with them, know their history, and connect with them beyond being a person in your community, a person you work with, or someone that you literally know nothing about? Or are you that person that doesn’t think highly of Indigenous People? If so, where does this belief or feeling come from? Why do you hold onto it? How is this belief serving you or the work you do? What efforts are any of you willing to do to change this? If nothing, why not? If so, what do you want to change, shift, transform, learn, question, etc.?

We can only truly change when we educate ourselves. Be courageous and begin. What do you want to know? What questions do you have? Your journey can easily begin with asking ‘grandfather google’ and begin your journey of education. However, this does not replace the human, spiritual, and relations needed for truthful and healing reconciliation actions and commitments in our personal and professional spaces.  But be wary, as some spaces out there are from a very colonial, western, or non-Indigenous and settler mindset and still diminish Indigenous people with their skewed objectives of “helping the Indians” or being the saviors to our plight and cause as less than savages or heathens.  And not truly seeing and portraying Indigenous Peoples as capable, sovereign and intelligent. This kind of mindset and thinking only perpetuates the idea and knowing that Indigenous people are less than.


I ask you to be curious, open and heartfelt in your journey. Don’t rely on your Indigenous friends to carry the burden of doing this work for you. Reach out to them for clarification, enriched learning and meaningful dialogue. As it is not their responsibility to educate you…this is your responsibility and yours only. There are many spaces to support your path: online and in-person training, courses, books, podcasts, articles, reports, guides, etc. There is no shortage of information out there for you to learn. The time has never been more present, as we continue to unearth more burial sites, face politicians who truly don’t have meaningful reconciliation platforms, where we have to fight our rights consistently through the courts despite TRC, UNDRIP and over 275 court cases won protecting these inherent rights.