It has been scarcely 150 years since the proclamation of British Columbia. In this short period of time the First Nations of this province have endured near annihilation and a cultural genocide unprecedented in the annals of human history.
In making this brutally honest statement I find myself not embittered with anger but, rather, absorbed in the daily struggle of survival and the healing process of sorting this out.
In our efforts to understand we find ourselves in the same predicament as our fellow man; discovering that no matter who, what or where we are we are subject to issues that effect us all.
Depleted fish stocks, dying oceans, polluted water ways and atmosphere, melting ice caps, disappearing old growth forests and contaminated soil, economic systems negligent to ecology; a political system insensitive to our basic needs — neglecting equal rights for proper healthcare, housing, education and opportunity, leaving us in poverty, homelessness, social assistance, etc.
In view of all this, there are those who are well aware of the connectedness of these matters, who can sense the changes taking place and bear witness to a new age of hope and consciousness — a time when responsibility falls clearly into our own laps and where, perhaps, “human dignity” may be restored to us who have been supressed and subdued to submission. We must rise above corruption, untwisting our values to show us a better way.
It is time to take action — idle no more!
So, in the spirit of cultural preservation my families and I will embark Feb. 2 on a journey from our homelands on the northern tip of Vancouver Island to the legislature building of B.C. in Victoria. We will conduct a copper cutting ceremony, breaking the chains that bind us, freeing our hands so that we may create a better future for our children.
No matter age, race or location — each one of us has a part to play and only together we shall rise as one. Please join us.
Beau Dick and family