This week another piece of the reconciliation puzzle came together for the Heiltsuk Nation with the announcement of the provincial government investing $22 million into Heiltsuk priorities over the next three years. This commitment mirrors the federal government’s investment of $42 million – also for the next three years. The combined $64 million is for “closing the socio-economic gaps” in a number of areas like housing, economic development, language revitalization, governance, fisheries and community infrastructure. Importantly, this funding is not a treaty. Rather these investments are a demonstration of the Crown’s commitment to reconciliation with Heiltsuk. Over the next three years the parties will continue to negotiate the implementation of Heiltsuk title and jurisdiction.
I’ve had the privilege of working as a strategic advisor to Heiltsuk Nation on reconciliation. Their success is a reflection of many things: a clear vision of what reconciliation means to them; hereditary and elected leadership working together; a competent technical team lead by Heiltsuk negotiators, and having the confidence to create the future they want. Nothing about reconciliation is easy, but Heiltsuk continues to drive the agenda forward, clearing a path that works for them.
What is reconciliation? Watch this short video to learn what it means to Heiltsuk:
To learn more about Heiltsuk reconciliation visit Heiltsuknation.ca