Leaders of the Tsilhqot’in Nation welcomed news of the reelection of the Liberal federal government as a result of the election Monday, saying the government has been ‘instrumental’ in the advancement that the Tŝilhqot’in Nation has seen over the last few years.
“First, I’d like to congratulate Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberals on their election victory,” said TNG Chief and Tribal Chair Joe Alphonse Thursday.
“The Tŝilhqot’in Nation recognizes the work that the Liberal government has done with the Nation and expects this good work to continue and move forward.”
Alphonse also noted, however, it is important that the Liberal government works with all parties to bring about ‘long overdue change for Indigenous people.’
“These changes include implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, access to clean drinking water for all Indigenous communities, acting on the “calls to actions” of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and implementing the “calls to justice” from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls,” he said.
Chief Russell Myers Ross, vice-chair for the TNG, said he also appreciated the Liberal’s efforts to foster a relationship with the Tsilhqot’in Nation ‘that was previously non-existent.’
“We have been grateful for the leadership and their willingness to listen and understand our Nation-building efforts. When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke to the Tŝilhqot’in on our lands in 2018, he expressed that the role of the federal government relationship is essentially to listen, allowing Indigenous Peoples to take the lead on their self-determining aspirations, and for the federal government to act supportively. We expect that sentiment and approach will continue in our future engagements.”
Prime Minister Trudeau visited Tŝilhqot’in title lands in November, 2018 to meet directly with Tŝilhqot’in leadership, elders and members to deliver the exoneration of the six Tŝilhqot’in War Chiefs wrongly executed in the Chilcotin war of 1864/65.
Myers Ross pointed out the Liberal government also entered into the Gwets’en Nilt’I Pathway Agreement this past August, a tripartite agreement between the Tŝilhqot’in Nation, Canada and British Columbia, which aims to bring transformative change to the lives and well-being of the Tŝilhqot’in people, he said.