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City of Victoria | City Family | Municipal reconciliation efforts


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#21 Cassidy

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 06:52 AM

Far from an echo chamber, I think V.V. and its users are far more tuned into the realities of living life in the City of Victoria specifically, and the CRD generally - than are many residents of the region.

 

Although I may not agree with some of the personally subjective points made on V.V., I find that the critical comments made on V.V. and directed towards COV Mayor and Council to be fact based, and often spot-on.

 

Indeed, the posts I read in V.V. related to local political issues are much more salient than anything else I read, from the T/C, Black Press, or the City's own website.

V.V. posters call a spade a spade almost 100% of the time ... which is incredibly refreshing in light of the endless misinformation and disinformation generally provided through more "official" channels.


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#22 Wayne

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 08:06 AM

VV Toxic? Not even close,

 

I applaud VIResident for posting this thread. Many would shy away from this.

 

My main is concern with Reconciliation, does anyone know the end state? Will we know when we have achieved it? And what does it look like?



#23 spanky123

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 08:34 AM

 

My main is concern with Reconciliation, does anyone know the end state? Will we know when we have achieved it? And what does it look like?

 

That is the idea. Without any targets or end state then we can be in a continuous reconciliation loop.


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#24 Nparker

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 08:59 AM

...Without any targets or end state then we can be in a continuous reconciliation loop.

I think that's the point. Sort of like "ending" homelessness.


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#25 jonny

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 09:19 AM

I think that's the point. Sort of like "ending" homelessness.

 

Exactly. 

 

And unlike the Civil Rights Movement, or say the gay marriage movement, there doesn't seem to be any particular grassroots goals. Our leaders cannot even tell us what reconciliation means in an elevator pitch format. 

 

As we saw recently with PR, if there is no grassroots support for major change, any transformation is doomed from the start. Let's not forget that there are 198 First Nations in BC alone. To get even 50 of them to agree that they are "reconciled" in 25 or 30 years would be a massive achievement. 

 

Even the question "What does reconciliation mean to you?" has many answers. 1,000 answers. 10,000 answers. 1,000,000 answers. Who knows what the answer is. 



#26 Rob Randall

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 09:27 AM

I recall the 2007 Belleville Terminal Task Force. It was a typical of the groups gathered to study a problem, consisting of the usual suspects, community associations, City Hall folk, business people and reps from the Songhees and Esquimalt nations. Similar groups are formed whenever major community consultation is needed, like the Songhees marina.

 

What I remember is at that time the Indigenous input was minimal. I got the sense that a lot of this was inside baseball to them--mundane and complicated discussions of arcane setbacks and Provincial lease-back agreements and that they were there more as a formality.

 

Now there is a new generation and they are not as interested in being patronized bystanders as their ancestral lands around the harbour continue to be carved up. They are armed with university degrees and business experience and will be active participants in future projects around the harbour and beyond, for instance the BC Hydro lands and the proposed Beacon Hill Longhouse.

 

In fact, it would be interesting to see the Longhouse proposal contain a commercial operation involving First Nations art and/or food. If the reply were that the BHP covenant forbids it, the response will be, "fine, looking forward to discussing this at Supreme Court".


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#27 Mike K.

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 09:33 AM

If BHP’s covenant requires there be no such operation on the hill, then the proper processes need to be followed to untangle the situation, not take the City of Victoria taxpayer to the Supreme Court of Canada because your plans don’t jive with regulations.

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#28 Rob Randall

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 09:42 AM

^That could take decades. Besides, there are no processes to follow or regulations to untangle. The covenant is permanent, right there in unambiguous black and white.

 

Why not just do it and let the courts sort it out? That's how the David Johnson and the homeless park campers did it. 


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#29 spanky123

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 09:52 AM

 

Now there is a new generation and they are not as interested in being patronized bystanders as their ancestral lands around the harbour continue to be carved up. They are armed with university degrees and business experience and will be active participants in future projects around the harbour and beyond, for instance the BC Hydro lands and the proposed Beacon Hill Longhouse.

 

In fact, it would be interesting to see the Longhouse proposal contain a commercial operation involving First Nations art and/or food. If the reply were that the BHP covenant forbids it, the response will be, "fine, looking forward to discussing this at Supreme Court".

 

What has amazed me over the past years is how the billions of dollars in payments to FN, the lands that have been given to them (ie BC Hydro as you pointed out), and the area of reconciliation have done what appears to be very little to nothing to improve the lives of the average on reserve FN resident. The homes are still in disrepair, garbage is piled up on lawns and people are still living in squalor.

 

I would expect that the average FN person would be far more interested in seeing their fair share of the money that the band councils and chiefs handle rather than attending meetings on harbor use.



#30 spanky123

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 09:53 AM

^That could take decades. Besides, there are no processes to follow or regulations to untangle. The covenant is permanent, right there in unambiguous black and white.

 

Why not just do it and let the courts sort it out? That's how the David Johnson and the homeless park campers did it. 

 

Has there yet been a successful court challenge of the Douglas Treaty elements?



#31 jonny

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 10:36 AM

The constant barrage of head-turners are literally a Victoria-only phenomenon which began in 2014 with the contentious swearing in of the mayor. Since then there were around 100 controversies.

Are politicians in Oak Bay and Central Saanich polarized? I don’t think they are. They seem to be focused on keeping their municipalities running and their constituents content.

 

It's an interesting conversation, to be sure. I think if one were to do a deep study, they'd find that those on the far right and the far left that push their agendas more aggressively than say a Paul Martin.

 

It's easy to lose sight in Victoria because we are so used to it, but the City of Victoria is run by politicians who federally would be on the outer left wing fringes of the NDP. These people are extremists. They make Tom Mulcair look like Ronald Reagan. 

 

Look, Victoria has been left of center for a while. Right now, it's further left of center than anywhere in Canada not called East Vancouver. We know that self-labelled "progressives" push their agenda more aggressively than anybody. That's what they do. They pride themselves on that. They feed off anger and condemning the status quo. Everything is wrong and drastic changes must be made. That's what we're experiencing here. 



#32 jonny

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 10:38 AM

What has amazed me over the past years is how the billions of dollars in payments to FN, the lands that have been given to them (ie BC Hydro as you pointed out), and the area of reconciliation have done what appears to be very little to nothing to improve the lives of the average on reserve FN resident. The homes are still in disrepair, garbage is piled up on lawns and people are still living in squalor.

 

I would expect that the average FN person would be far more interested in seeing their fair share of the money that the band councils and chiefs handle rather than attending meetings on harbor use.

 

The answer is the same for every person who is in poverty [save for those who are physically or mentally unable]. Join the global economy. Opportunity and prosperity are there for the taking. Ask Ellis Ross. 



#33 Cassidy

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 11:31 AM

Until the reserve system and the Indian Act are abandoned permanently, there will be no “reconciliation”.

A drive through 90% of Canadian First Nations reserves demonstrates that fact explicitly.
The Indian Act doesn’t work, and has never worked.

Throwing hundreds of millions more dollars at First Nations, and essentially sucking up to them obviously won’t fix what’s broken.

True reconciliation would be the abandonment of the Indian Act, and the full incorporation of First Nations members as citizens of Canada ... just like any other citizen of Canada.
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#34 On the Level

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 11:38 AM

True reconciliation would be the abandonment of the Indian Act, and the full incorporation of First Nations members as citizens of Canada ... just like any other citizen of Canada.

 

 

I am not so sure that there is much of a desire to join Canada.  They would prefer to be an equal partner outside of the Canadian institution.



#35 Cassidy

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 11:53 AM

I am not so sure that there is much of a desire to join Canada.  They would prefer to be an equal partner outside of the Canadian institution.

That’s essentially what they have now, and having not worked for over a century, it seems misplaced to think it might start working anytime “soon”.
People have to work for the things they own ... without work there is no pride ... and without pride you have what you see in many First Nations reserves.

It’s a tough and unpleasant thing to say out loud, but being politically correct and NOT saying it serves no one ... especially not First Nations.

Any advance in First Nations “reconciliation” has to begin with the removal of the Indian Act as the benchmark document in the life of the average First Nations person.
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#36 Mattjvd

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 03:04 PM

That’s essentially what they have now, and having not worked for over a century, it seems misplaced to think it might start working anytime “soon”.
People have to work for the things they own ... without work there is no pride ... and without pride you have what you see in many First Nations reserves.

It’s a tough and unpleasant thing to say out loud, but being politically correct and NOT saying it serves no one ... especially not First Nations.

Any advance in First Nations “reconciliation” has to begin with the removal of the Indian Act as the benchmark document in the life of the average First Nations person.

It's not really what they have now in the Indian Act reservation system. Reservations are completely dependant on the federal government because of the Indian act.

True reconciliation (IMO, for whatever that is worth) would give First Nations a good degree of autonomy (for things entirely within their community), including economic autonomy. Property rights would probably be a good start.

Some FNs are quite large and would have the economies of scale required for many of their own services (police, school boards, permit granting authority for development, etc). A level of independance and responsibility somewhere between a Province and a municipality might fit.
It would take a lot of work, there won't be a 'one size fits all' solution. Each FN has it's own values, needs, and of course size/capacity to administer services and governance responsibilities. I'm not going to pretend I know the nuances of what the answer would be. But I'm in agreement that the Indian Act is helping no one.

Edited by Mattjvd, 31 December 2018 - 03:05 PM.


#37 Rob Randall

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 03:24 PM

True (IMO, for whatever that is worth) would give First Nations a good degree of autonomy (for things entirely within their community)

 

But how do we define "their community"?

 

The useless plot of land they were forced onto after being marched to the top of Mt. Doug to sign their "X" on a piece of paper they didn't understand? I think our local Indigenous peoples have their eyes on more attractive goals.

 

We are at a turning point. It's unwise to assume what happens in the future can be foretold by what's happened over the last 100 years.


"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"

-Tom Hawthorne, Toronto Globe and Mail


#38 Mattjvd

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 03:29 PM

But how do we define "their community"?

The useless plot of land they were forced onto after being marched to the top of Mt. Doug to sign their "X" on a piece of paper they didn't understand? I think our local Indigenous peoples have their eyes on more attractive goals.

We are at a turning point. It's unwise to assume what happens in the future can be foretold by what's happened over the last 100 years.


I meant "community" to refer more to people, and less to geography. I certainly did not mean to say the tiny confines of the current reserves. Again, I won't try to give a nuanced definition for community, that's something I belive each First Nation would do.
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#39 PraiseKek

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 03:43 PM

Reconciliation is about keeping the money train going that's all. That's all first nations issues all boil down to. Not one serious politician has ever suggested anything that would improve the living conditions of FN in Canada not one. It's even been suggested that having bands produce audited financials is racist. I really feel for FN people because the whole scheme is about enriching politicians and band leaders and robbing them blind. 


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#40 VIResident

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 04:08 PM

Thank you everyone, its fantastic to see this level of engagement (not seeing any elsewhere 'online').  Cassiday, what you said here really hits home for me at least, yes, what of that reserve system?  I truly wish COV Mayor and Council would open doors to dialogue, both First Nations & non, together.  COV could invite people, random choose from that pool and invite people together.  AFTER the discussion is complete share with the rest of the world the (edited if need be) video/podcast/whatever.  Businesses want to be onboard (we do), people want to engage (we do) however there are some boundaries that should be investigated that have been mentioned here.  There are realities, and limitations, money/taxes do rule our daily lives and as such we need certainty in what moving forward might look like.  Toes-in-the-water as it were.  

Until the reserve system and the Indian Act are abandoned permanently, there will be no “reconciliation”.

A drive through 90% of Canadian First Nations reserves demonstrates that fact explicitly.
The Indian Act doesn’t work, and has never worked.

Throwing hundreds of millions more dollars at First Nations, and essentially sucking up to them obviously won’t fix what’s broken.

True reconciliation would be the abandonment of the Indian Act, and the full incorporation of First Nations members as citizens of Canada ... just like any other citizen of Canada.

 



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