This site is dedicated to a dialogue between and among Indigenous and settler peoples about the potential of reconciliation agreements in British Columbia to help move us all into a post-colonial Canada.
When we talk about reconciliation in British Columbia we recognize that this term is used in a number of distinct but related ways.
- It can refer to the legal concept of the reconciliation of Indigenous and Crown title.
- It is also used to describe the social undertaking of recognizing past wrongs and addressing their consequences.
- Finally, the term “reconciliation agreement” has come to describe a type of economic benefits sharing arrangement between the Province and a First Nation.
While we think that all these types of reconciliation will benefit from discussion and dialogue, our focus on this site is the last type: what we call “economic reconciliation agreements”. These are a relatively new type of agreement (further discussed here) currently being developed and deployed by the Province designed to close the socio-economic gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in BC by creating specific opportunities for specific First Nations to participate in the economies of their lands.
What we hope to create on this site is a forum both for and about dialogue in the context of discussing these economic reconciliation agreements (for more about our approach to dialogue see here). Our approach is to practice what we preach: we believe that the way forward into a post-colonial Canada is through dialogue and we want this site to be a place where this idea is both discussed and lived in the context of economic reconciliation agreements.
“We” are settlers. We have worked for over a decade with many First Nations in British Columbia to help them become self-determining. But we recognize and acknowledge where we come from and who we are and what limitations that places on us.
We see ourselves as facilitators. We do not have a plan or pretend to know what the answers are for our Indigenous friends or even put ourselves out there as knowledgeable. But we have seen first-hand the damage caused by the current system, want to see it change and believe that the way it will change is through dialogue between Indigenous and settler peoples.
And so this site is a space for such a dialogue about a particular approach to moving us into a post-colonial Canada. It is, we think, an experiment and we are not aware of any other site attempting to do this. It might fail, but we think it worth the risk. If it succeeds it will be because people like you engaged with it.
Your suggestions, constructive criticisms and helpful comments are always welcome. You can contact us here.
Please explore our issues commentary and join the dialogue by leaving a comment at the bottom of any of the articles. You can choose to be notified by email whenever additional dialogue is added to the site.