A NewsKamloops editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
GRAND CHIEF Stewart Phillip says he means no disrespect by refusing to take part in a ceremony today with Prince William, but how else should we take it?
The Black Rod ‘reconciliation’ ceremony featured the handing over of a ring of reconciliation to the prince. The Black Rod is a ceremonial staff used on formal occasions in the B.C Legislature.
But Stewart said , “In good conscience, I cannot participate in the Black Rod Ceremony. The suffering in our communities is too great.”
He apologized for any inconvenience but said it was a matter of principle.
He said there hasn’t been enough progress on the Tsilhqot’in decision, that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has had enough time to deal with it even though he’s been in office less than a year.
He said Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights are another unresolved issue.
Good grief, isn’t it possible to set aside the politics for just a few days while the Royal Family visits our province? Couldn’t British Columbians of all origins, especially those invited to a ceremony of reconciliation, offer them welcome and respect?
Part of reconciliation involves the presence of First Nations representatives at all manner of public events and ceremonies. Any time a ribbon is cut for a new building, any time a meeting of significance is held, First Nations are there to be part of it, sometimes to offer a prayer, sometimes to provide some ceremonial entertainment, or to take a place at the microphones. Other First Nations leaders were certainly part of the welcoming ceremonies on Sunday.
The purpose of all this is to recognize that we all share this land, and that First Nations were here first, that despite decades of struggles to find common ground, we strive for reconciliation and cooperation.
What possible good does snubbing the Royals do anyone? Surely the politics could have been ignored for a day.
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September 29, 2016 05:47am
September 28, 2016 01:29pm
Chief Stewart Phillip's refusal to go along with this charade gets my respect. As a descendent of British grandparents, I wouldn't participate either. He successfully elevated the issues that concern first nations and many Canadians to the international press through the story's coverage in The Guardian. I applaud his bravery and consistent message. This is in contrast to the hypocracy of the provincial and federal Liberals whose duplicitous messaging suggests that they care about the environment and first nations rights, while approving destructive mega projects like Site C and Pacific NW LNG. These projects threaten BC's natural heritage and the health of our wildlife and human inhabitants. The royal show is a corporatist spectacle designed to distract and trick the population into accepting the treasonous political actions of the provincial and federal governments as they saddle BC taxpayers and their homeland with massive risk to enable foreign and corporate profits.
Robert George Barriere says:
September 28, 2016 11:31am
The absence of Mr Phillip from the podium in Victoria was an instant signal of trouble.It was a sign of disrespect for us all ,but mostly to his own.
Judging by Prince Williams countenance during some of the rhetoric on reconciliation,he was bothered by it,and should not have been subjected to it.
Will it never end?